Johnson Controls to Pay Peshtigo Residents $17.5M to Settle PFAS Lawsuit

By Chris Hubbuch, Wisconsin State Journal

Johnson Controls has agreed to pay $17.5 million to Peshtigo area residents whose water was contaminated by “forever chemicals” from a manufacturing plant in Marinette.

The agreement announced Thursday is part of a settlement in a 2018 class action lawsuit against the company’s Tyco Fire Products subsidiary and is subject to court approval.

In a statement the company said the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing but “expresses our desire to resolve this litigation so that we can focus on the permanent solutions we have identified to get rid of the PFAS from the (Fire Technology Center).”

“This is an important part of our effort to make this situation right,” said company spokeswoman Katie McGinty.

Under the proposed settlement anyone who lived or owned property in the covered part of the town of Peshtigo for at least a year since 1965 will be eligible for compensation. According to the settlement there are more than 300 homes in the roughly 3-square-mile area south of Marinette.

The settlement does not cover roughly two dozen wells contaminated by sludge from the Marinette wastewater treatment plant that was spread on farm fields in the surrounding area.

McGinty said PFAS in those biosolids came from “a much broader arena of players,” adding that after three years of study Tyco has identified “precisely where our PFAS is.”

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