Campbell is a town of approximately 4,300 people along the Mississippi River in La Crosse County. In recent years, it has been determined that the water supply in Campbell is contaminated by known carcinogens—particularly a group of toxins called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In March of 2021, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) published a press release confirming that “PFAS contamination” was found “in municipal wells, private drinking water and groundwater.”
No person should have to deal with dangerous, contaminated water. In October of 2023, four class action lawsuits were filed on behalf of the residents of the Town of Campbell. Two claims were filed in a federal court and two claims were filed in Wisconsin state court. At Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC, our attorney Tim Jacobson is actively handling this matter. We are fighting for justice for victims. In this article, our Wisconsin environmental claim attorneys provide a comprehensive overview of the key things to know about this class action lawsuit.
PFAS Contamination of the Water in Campbell (French Island) is a Huge Problem
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are broadly defined as a collection of man-made chemicals that have been used in various industries all around the globe for nearly a century. PFAS contamination is a serious safety concern. These chemicals can contaminate drinking water—it is a big problem because PFAS have been linked to adverse health outcomes.
Campell is a town located on French Island in the middle of the Mississippi river. Notably, the La Crosse Airport is on French Island as well. There is now overwhelming evidence that PFAS contamination is a major problem in the town’s water supply. Wisconsin’s DNR determined that at least 538 private wells on French Island—most located within the town of Campbell—have tested positive for dangerous levels of PFAS.
Residents have been forced to rely on bottled water. It has been a stressful and deeply frustrating experience for many people. As reported by MPR News, residents are angry. Beyond the inconvenience, they are dealing with property damage and many of them were forced to drink toxic contaminated water for decades without any warning. People are fighting back: The La Crosse Tribune reports that residents are pursuing a class action lawsuit.
How it Happened: AFFF Fire Fighting Foam is Dangerous
What went wrong in Campbell, Wisconsin? How did the water get contaminated by PFAS and why did it take so long for there to be any action. The root of this contamination is linked to the use of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). AFFF is a firefighting foam containing PFAS compounds like PFOA and PFOS. It is currently subject to a number of different environmental and health-based class action lawsuits around the United States.
Notably, AFFF has long been known to be a health and safety hazard. Indeed, studies dating back to the 1970s indicated the toxicity of PFAS in AFFF. Unfortunately, the firefighting foam was still used for many more decades. In fact, potentially carcinogenic levels of AFFF used by the U.S. military, by fire training centers, and by airports. The airport is the big issue in the class action lawsuit filed by Campbell, WI residents. The contamination of the water in Campbell is largely attributed to the longstanding use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam at the La Crosse Regional Airport.
Several Parties Named as Defendants (3M, TYCO, Dupont, BASF, City of La Crosse)
As noted previously, four separate class action lawsuits are currently pending on behalf of the current and former residents of Campbell, Wisconsin. Our law firm is passionately fighting for justice for our clients. The class action claims are targeting a number of different defendants for their role in the contamination of the town’s water supply. These defendants include:
- BASF; and
- The City of La Crosse.
The private companies cited in these class action lawsuits are corporations that were involved in the manufacturing and distribution of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). Additionally, the City of La Crosse is also being sued for its role in the failure to take proper safety precautions at the airport.
We are Seeking Full and Fair Financial Compensation for Victims
Here is the simple reality: The contaminated water supply on French Island has put a tremendous burden on the people of Campbell, Wisconsin. They have been made to pay for unsafe conduct of other parties—including major corporations and municipal governments. The class action lawsuit is aimed at helping the people secure the full and fair financial compensation that they rightfully deserve. Indeed, through the class action claims, the hundreds of residents are seeking over $42 million in damages from the City of La Crosse. The claims include compensation for property value loss, health risks, and the need for clean water. Thousands of people in Campbell are currently being adversely impacted by the contaminated water. They need a real, safe, and permanent answer.
Attorney Tim Jacobson is Actively Representing the Residents of Campbell, WI
Attorney Tim Jacobson, based in La Crosse, is at the forefront of representing the affected residents of Campbell in the PFAS water contamination class action lawsuit. Attorney Jacobson is driven to hold the responsible parties accountable for the widespread water contamination. Our firm is working tirelessly to help any and all current and former residents of Campbell who have been impacted by the water issue secure the full and fair financial compensation that they are entitled to under the law.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Wisconsin Class Action Attorney
At Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC, our Wisconsin environmental claims lawyers have the skills and experience to handle the full range of class action lawsuits. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the PFAS water contamination case, we are here to help. Give us a call at 608-784-4370 or connect with us online for your free, strictly confidential consultation. We are actively representing the current and former residents of Campbell, WI in this class action lawsuit.