Contaminated drinking water lawsuits filed against DuPont WV plant

DuPont is facing a number of lawsuits contending that the company knowingly contaminated drinking water with C8 at its W.V. plant.


Nov. 5, 2013 -- DuPont, an American chemical company, is facing a number of lawsuits contending that the company knowingly contaminated drinking water with C8, or ammonium perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) -- a synthetic perfluorinated carboxylic acid and fluorosurfactant chemical -- used to make Teflon at its Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg, W.V.

Consolidated under Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), In Re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company C-8 Personal Injury Litigation (MDL 2433), nine C8 lawsuits involving Ohio and West Virginal residents have been filed against DuPont. These cases allege that the Mid-Ohio Valley residents developed cancer and other diseases due to their exposure to C8-tainted drinking water. These lawsuits join the more than 50 C8 lawsuits currently pending in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio under MDL 2433.

According to court documents, the litigation has been established for all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed in accordance with the terms of the C8 class-action lawsuit settlement. Richard W. Schulte, a partner with Wright & Schulte LLC, is a member of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in the proceeding. Wright & Schulte has already filed C8 lawsuits on behalf of Mid-Ohio Valley residents allegedly sickened by drinking water contaminated with C8. Trials in the litigation are expected to begin in the fall of 2015.

In 2005, DuPont reached a settlement in a C8 class-action lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of 70,000 people who lived and worked in the vicinity of the DuPont Washington Works plant. Following the lawsuit, the Wood County Circuit Court appointed the C8 Science Panel to investigate the amount of C8 exposure and possible health links. The panel reviewed a number of studies, including one that involved 32,000 people who were interviewed between 2009 and 2011. Using records of past emissions from the DuPont plant and the residential history of study subjects, the panel estimated the level of C8 in the blood of the subjects over time before cancer occurred. It found as C8 levels increased, the rate of kidney cancer was 20 to 60 percent higher compared to those with the lowest level of exposure.

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