PARKERSBURG – A federal judge has ordered DuPont to detail who will be liable for any settlements in the C8 lawsuits.
U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus in Cincinnati Tuesday determined DuPont must provide the information concerning the spinoff of Chemours; which entity will retain the obligations and liabilities under the 2005 class action lawsuit; and the financial information including documents “reflecting the entity’s estimated net worth, assets, liabilities, revenue, etc.”
DuPont is litigating C8 lawsuits and recently asked the court to temporarily delay three bellwhether cases while it appeals a judgment awarding $1.6 million to Carla Marie Bartlett, who claimed C8 in water caused her to contract kidney cancer. Sargus denied the motion to stay the trials pending the appeal.
DuPont used C8, also called PFOA, at the Washington Works in Wood County to make the non-stick coating Teflon.
The class action lawsuit filed by residents citing illnesses related to C8 exposure established a study of residents covered by six water systems and private wells, medical monitoring and installation of filtration equipment to cleanse the substance from water.
A science panel studying the health data from 70,000 residents in the area determined a link between C8 exposure and six diseases, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy induced hypertension including preeclampsia and hypercholesterolemia.
At the latest pre-trial hearing, lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuits also cited the pending merger between Dow and DuPont, which may be closed by the end of the summer.
There also must be agreements in place indicating who will be liable for the settlements in the Leach class action suit.
Attorneys for DuPont agreed to check the status of the merger and “the allocation of the obligations and liabilities under the Leach Settlement Agreement,” the order from Sargus said. “The court directed counsel to report on this issue at the next in-person status conference.”
The next conference is April 18.
“DuPont’s shameful attempt to walk away from their responsibilities started with the failing Chemours spinoff, and now, adding insult to injury, they are trying to do it again with the Dow-DuPont merger,” said Jeffrey Dugas, a spokesman for Keep Your Promises DuPont, a group critical of the Dow-DuPont merger and which is dedicated to making sure the company remains responsible for any damages from C8 exposure and contamination.
“The people of the Mid-Ohio Valley have suffered long enough, and we deserve clean water, we deserve compensation for those who are ill, and we deserve accountability, not Wall Street shenanigans,” Dugas said.
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