| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Lawsuits against chemical giant DuPont multiply

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. South Carolina capital’s drinking water at risk
  2. Ohio’s interpretation of Common Core test results threatens national comparison goals
  3. Hero in French train terrorist attack injured in bar brawl
  4. Oregon college town sets gun rights protest for Obama visit
  5. McCarthy drops out as GOP speaker candidate in shocker
  6. Longtime Mars lakes tantalize NASA scientists
  7. Ex-CEO of Chicago Public Schools to plead guilty to $23 million kickback scheme
  8. Civil servants’ pay, benefits exceed private-sector counterparts, Cato study finds
  9. Foes of California mandatory vaccine law fail in repeal bid