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La Crosse council approves money from contingency fund to hire attorneys for potential PFAS lawsuits



The legal battle over polluted well water in the town of Campbell requires expert attorneys to argue court cases.

Monday, the La Crosse City Council voted during a closed session to spend up to $45,000 for lawyers, who will defend the city against lawsuits about PFAS “forever chemicals” in Campbell private wells.

“We continue our legal action against all of the manufacturers that are being sued in a lawsuit by the city of La Crosse and many others,” La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds said, after the rare midday meeting.

Reynolds cited 3M and DuPont as companies that have offered settlements, “but there’s a bunch of other companies that are also being sued as manufacturers of these chemicals.”

The legal expenses authorized by the council will be covered by cash already in the city’s contingency fund.

Reynolds supports using private attorneys outside the city legal department.

“We hire outside legal counsel all the time,” Reynolds said, “and this is one of those situations where we require their expertise.”

He added that the city has contacted the Boardman Clark Law Firm in Madison, which has experience in PFAS cases.

Families in Campbell, on French Island, have been using bottled water for over two years, after significant levels of PFAS in firefighting foam used by the La Crosse Airport fire department were found in many private wells on the island.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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