The Rome City Commission has approved a resolution signaling final settlement agreements with the defendants in the City of Rome v. 3M, et al, concerning the City of Rome’s lawsuit over pollution of the city’s drinking water source.
Rome City Attorney, J. Anderson (Andy) Davis, of Brinson, Askew & Berry along with Birmingham attorney Jeff Friedman of Friedman, Dazzio & Zulanas have worked the past four years representing the City of Rome in a lawsuit against Dupont, 3M. Shaw Manufacturing, Dalton Utilities, Mohawk, and many others. While the specific amount of the settlement agreement cannot be announced subject to the terms of the agreements, Andy Davis has indicated the settlement agreement not only funds the new reverse osmosis water treatment facility and future operating costs, but also covers all attorney’s fees from the litigation.
“Andy Davis took the lead on this case for the city, and he wisely enlisted the help of Jeff Friedman and his firm. Together, this legal A-team has worked an unimaginable number of hours and traveled untold miles throughout the country seeking justice for the PFAS contamination of our drinking water,” said Rome City Manager, Sammy Rich. He added, “A settlement agreement in this case represents a huge win for the entire community, but especially our loyal City of Rome water customers as we will be able to roll back the water rate increases that were enacted over the past 4 years, effectively setting the rates at the 2018 levels. By approving the resolution tonight, the Rome City Commission is able to provide financial relief in water rates beginning September 1, 2023, and has great reassurance about our ability to meet future demands of providing safe drinking water through the soon to be built reverse osmosis system.”
J. Anderson (Andy) Davis is managing partner of Brinson Askew Berry, specializing in complex business litigation, personal injury, governmental official liability, and class actions. He serves as City Attorney for the City of Rome.
According to a Bloomberg News report, the City of Rome has reached a settlement with over 50 chemical and carpet companies in the amount of $100 million.
The settlement comes after local waterways was polluted by the companies. The trial was scheduled to begin next week in Floyd County.
The city sought to recoup the cost that the city and water department paid to remove PFAS and PFOAS from drinking water.
The City is planning on using the funds to build a new reverse osmosis filtration plant to remove chemicals from drinking water.
Until the deal is finalized Rome water customers will continue to pay an increased rate to pay for the filtration system.