Giovanni v. United States Department of Navy, No. 17-2473 (3d Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The families live close to the Willow Grove Naval Air and Air Reserve Station in Horsham Township and the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster Township, which are contaminated with perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), including perfluorooctanoic acid. The families filed suits under the Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, 35 Pa. Cons. Stat. 6020.101-.1305, seeking orders requiring the Navy to pay for medical monitoring and to conduct a health assessment or health effects study that would include blood testing for themselves and others exposed to the hazardous substances released at the contaminated facilities. The district court concluded that the claims fell within the ambit of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9601- 9675, and were challenges under that Act to ongoing cleanup efforts at the facilities. The court decided that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and dismissed the cases. The Third Circuit affirmed in part; the claim for a health assessment or health effects study is barred because it challenges ongoing cleanup efforts. The court vacated in part, finding that the medical monitoring claim is not a challenge under CERCLA and is not barred by sovereign immunity.