Lawsuits against chemical giant DuPont multiply
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 9:18 p.m.
CINCINNATI — Nine Ohio and West Virginia residents who have cancer and other diseases have filed federal lawsuits this month against chemical giant DuPont, alleging the company knowingly contaminated drinking-water supplies with a chemical used by one of its plants.
The lawsuits, filed Oct. 8 and last week, are among about 50 such cases — including one alleging wrongful death — filed against DuPont since April, when a court-appointed science panel found probable links between exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8, and kidney cancer, testicular cancer and thyroid disease, among others.
DuPont, based in Wilmington, Del., uses C8 at its plant near Parkersburg, W.Va., on the Ohio line but plans to stop making and using the chemical by 2015. C8 is a key ingredient in Teflon, the coating used on cookware, clothing and other products.
The litigation is the latest in a yearslong battle between DuPont and residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
About 80,000 area residents filed a class-action lawsuit against the company in 2001. It resulted in a settlement in which DuPont agreed to pay as much as $343 million for residents' medical tests, the removal of as much C8 from the area's water supply as possible and a science panel's yearslong study into whether C8 causes disease in humans.
“These are folks who've been waiting many, many years to be able to pursue these claims,” said Rob Bilott, a Cincinnati attorney who has been working on the case for more than 15 years and represents the Mid-Ohio Valley residents. “Our goal is to be able to get these resolved for them and move forward as quickly as we can.”
In a written statement, DuPont spokesman Dan Turner pointed out the company's efforts to pay for the medical study of C8 and fund a medical monitoring program for residents exposed to the chemical.
“Lawsuits such as these ignore family history, lifestyle choices and other causes of health issues and disease in specific individuals,” Turner said. “DuPont will vigorously defend against any and all such lawsuits not based upon valid science.”
The roughly 50 recent lawsuits in Ohio and West Virginia, which seek unspecified damages, have been consolidated into one case being presided over by a federal judge in Columbus. The first trial in the matter is set for September 2015.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fannie, Freddie profits surprise
- Senate OKs bill scrapping ‘good soldier defense’
- White House advises teaching students about money
- Snowden captivates tech crowd
- Lanza’s father says he wishes son was never born
- General’s court-martial is thrown into jeopardy
- D.C. mayor denies he knew of illegal ‘shadow campaign’
- Deaths from heroin, pain pills called ‘urgent,’ growing’ crisis
- Depth, distance reduce impact of quake off California’s northern coast
- Changes to Medicare drug coverage scrapped
- Poll: Uninsured rate drops, but Hispanics lag in sign-ups