Topnotch legal team hired for PFAS litigation under terms favorable to Guam; AG assures any settlement will need GovGuam consent

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The Office of the Attorney General has selected a legal team comprised of six prominent law firms with extensive PFAS experience that will collectively help represent Guam in PFAS-related litigation.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has already signed the contract.

According to the OAG, the terms of the contingency fee were finalized in a retainer agreement setting a contingency fee of 15 percent, which is half of the 30 percent authorized by the Prutehi I Hanom Act, if the case settles before trial.

If a trial takes place, the contingency fees will increase by only 2.5 percent. The retainer agreement also stipulates that the PFAS litigation team will only receive payment if they are successful and that the litigation team will pay upfront for all expert witnesses.

Attorney General Leevin Camacho thanked the governor for making this a priority and the Legislature for recognizing the benefit of swift action and trusting the OAG to find the best experts to help sue for damage caused by the use of PFAS under terms that are good for Guam.

The PFAS litigation team is made up of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP; Taft Stettiniuis & Hollister LLP; Kennedy & Madonna, LLP; Douglas & London, P.C.; SL Environmental Law Group PC; and Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.

The PFAS litigation team has represented approximately eight states and territories in environmental litigation. They currently represent Ohio, New Hampshire and New Jersey in PFAS-related litigation.

According to the AG, this litigation team brings expertise that includes acting as lead counsel in the first PFAS exposure case filed in 1999, involvement in complex multidistrict litigations such as Deepwater Horizon (BP) Oil Spill in the Gulf, and recovering billions of dollars in settlements on behalf of states through environmental litigation.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, the AG assured that any decision to settle, if there’s any settlement at all, will need to go through the government of Guam first.

“Our office will be very involved in this. Nothing will be settled without the client’s consent,” Camacho said.

He added that the companies that will be sued will most likely be 3M, DuPont, and Chemguard.

Deputy Attorney General Fred Nishihara and Assistant Attorneys General Janice Camacho and Joseph Perez handled the solicitation on behalf of Office of the Attorney General.

To view the fee agreement online, log on to https://bit.ly/2YnAgnx

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