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General News

Matsikoudis & Fanciullo Negotiates Landmark Environmental Settlement

February 17, 2022

JERSEY CITY, NJ – One of the reasons Greek-American Bill Matsikoudis and Derek Fanciullo created their firm Matsikoudis & Fanciullo was to leverage the law to compel polluters to clean up contaminated sites. “We have successfully represented non-profits and cities to force the remediation of polluted sites so that they could be returned to productive use,” the attorneys said in a statement via email on February 16.

“After several years of litigation and mediation, we recently reached a landmark settlement on behalf the Tennessee Riverkeeper, pursuant to which 3M and other major corporations have agreed to remediate PFAS [Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances] contamination at and around their plants on the Tennessee River in Decatur, Alabama,” the statement continued. “PFAS chemicals are used in various manufacturing activities, have been associated with numerous health problems, and are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they do not break down in the environment. Per the terms of the settlement, 3M will conduct a thorough investigation of its PFAS contamination, by sampling soil, groundwater, surface water, sediments and fish from the Tennessee River to determine how PFAS is getting into it. 3M must pay to have the Tennessee Riverkeeper’s experts review its sampling results to make sure the PFAS problem 3M created is fully and accurately diagnosed.”

“Once the investigation is complete, 3M must come up with a proposal to remediate its PFAS; if the Riverkeeper does not agree with 3M’s plan, it can come up with its own clean-up plan,” Matsikoudis & Fanciullo said. “If 3M does not accept the Riverkeeper’s counterproposal, both 3M’s plan and the Riverkeeper’s counter-plan are sent to a combination of Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the EPA, who will work together to determine what remediation will go into effect. The sheer magnitude of the PFAS located on the banks of the Tennessee River will make this one of the most important environmental decisions in America and Matsikoudis & Fanciullo will be at the table advocating to make sure that PFAS is no longer a threat to health and the environment in Northern Alabama.”

Matsikoudis & Fanciullo also assisted in drafting New York legislation to help workers in bias and harassment lawsuits. The firm was proud to work with New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes on legislation that would allow evidence of complaints by victims of sexual harassment and discrimination to be admissible at trial. “Currently, testimony regarding complaints of harassment and discrimination would likely be kept out of evidence as hearsay,” Matsikoudis & Fanciullo said. “Under the bill, if, for example, a woman was harassed at work and then immediately complained about the harassment to her family, the family members could testify about the complaints.”

Since founding Matsikoudis & Fanciullo, Bill Matsikoudis has successfully represented non-profits and a major city in compelling corporate polluters to remediate several former industrial sites; victims of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace; and individuals who have suffered serious harm from corporate indifference in personal injury actions. He also provides counsel to a variety of publicly-minded corporations. Leveraging his experience and relationships from a dozen years in government, Matsikoudis represents developers in urban areas. He successfully obtained approvals for a recycling facility and is representing an industrial developer that is remediating a Superfund site and creating hundreds of blue-collar jobs. Matsikoudis also litigates on behalf of corporations in the state and federal courts of New York and New Jersey.

More information is available online: https://www.mf-legal.com/.

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