By Jeffrey Saulton, News and Sentinel.com/The Marietta Times
PARKERSBURG -Recently released invoices dating back to February 2013 of payments by DuPont to the director of the medical monitoring program show $9 million has been paid for administration as part of the C8 lawsuit settlement while a small percentage has been paid for medical claims.
Keep Your Promises DuPont, a community organization that released the documents, said $50,233.26, or 0.02 percent, of the $235 million fund set up in the settlement to pay claims has been paid while $9 million was paid to Michael Rozen of Feinberg Rozen to administer the program.
DuPont’s Washington, W.Va., plant produced C8, in its Teflon manufacturing process. C8 has been deemed a potential health hazard in neighboring water supplies. DuPont has denied wrongdoing.
Dr. Paul Brooks, a Keep Your Promises advisory committee member, said he questions why so much has been paid while so few have been treated.
Keep Your Promises is demanding that DuPont make public its contract with Feinberg Rozen and that an investigation be launched into its handling of the fund.
“For Rozen to claim he is independent at this point reminds of the ‘fox guarding the hen house’ scenario,” Brooks said. “It’s disingenuous, and the exposed individuals deserve better.”
Brooks said the amount of money spent for administration and the number of people enrolled are out of proportion.
“A lot of money has been spent with little output. I wonder why that it is,” Brooks said. “There are so few at this point; we want to try to make sure these people who qualify for the monitoring get what they are supposed to get and that is not happening.”
Brooks said the payments to Rozen by DuPont could be seen as unethical or a conflict of interest.
“I think it is unethical or a conflict of interest; this man is being paid by the company that caused the problem,” he said.
Brooks, who has practiced medicine in the area for many years, said he wants to see the people who qualify for monitoring will receive the assistance they deserve.
“I want to ensure those who were exposed can get an early diagnosis,” he said. “If something is discovered, chances are you will get a better result in treatment and maybe a cure and if it’s not early it could be your demise.”
According to a weekly summary for the week ending Jan. 16, 98,968 notice packets have been sent to potential participants and 6,250 registrations were received.
Of those, 5,059 were eligible for monitoring, 299 were duplicate registrations, 82 were found to ineligible, 764 were deficient, 46 are under review.
Of those found to deficient, 105 had administrative deficiencies such as gender not provided, no signatures or pending address confirmation by a water district.
There were 659 with other deficiencies: 67 with no documentation provided, 176 did not establish a period of one year residency prior to Dec. 4, 2004, 14 documents were not legible, six with no identification that connect to the registrant and 396 with no address.