June 24, 2022
Quick-service restaurants are increasingly targeted for class action lawsuits over the alleged use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their packaging, a trio of McGuireWoods attorneys wrote in a June 21, 2022, article for QSR, a business-to-business magazine for the quick-service restaurant industry.
In the article, titled “Restaurant Industry May Be Next Battleground in Fight Over PFAS,” associate Benjamin Abel and partners S. Virginia Bondurant Price and R. Trent Taylor wrote that while the restaurant industry largely has avoided widespread litigation over PFAS, that may not remain the case much longer.
PFAS litigation recently filed alleges restaurants misled consumers about the presence of PFAS in packaging while marketing their products’ health, safety and sustainability.
The authors noted that while a surge of PFAS litigation targets a range of industries and, in some cases, has led to sizeable settlements, suits against the restaurant industry have so far met with less success. It remains to be seen whether suits targeting companies in the quick-service industry will succeed where similar suits have failed in the past, the lawyers wrote.
“Until then, these companies will likely continue to be targeted for PFAS allegedly in their product packaging, especially when plaintiffs and their counsel can point to allegedly contradictory marketing statements touting the restaurant’s sustainability or commitment to food safety,” the lawyers wrote.