Peters & Peters

Criminal complaint filed against chemical giants for endangering life


Key facts:

In May 2023, an environmental criminal case was filed by the mayor of Pierre-Bénite, Jérôme Moroge, with the Lyon Court against the chemical group Arkema. A number of residents and associations also filed a collective criminal complaint.

Arkema is alleged to have polluted the Rhône with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), estimated to affect more than 350,000 people, endangering life in breach of article 223-1, Criminal Code.

The claimants are seeking, among other things, an end to the pollution of the river by PFAS and testing of current pollution levels. Arkema is said to have advised locals to not eat fruits and vegetable grown in the affected areas. The local authorities have also recommended that residents in four areas, including Pierre-Bénite, should not eat eggs, chicken or locally caught fish.

In April 2024, search warrants were executed at various sites controlled by Arkema and Daikin.


Le Monde article of 5 June and 6 June 2023 and Le Parisien article of April 2024

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