A federal judge in Columbus, Ohio, has ruled DuPont must supply documents related to C8 pollution in the Netherlands in the damage cases being litigated in U.S. District Court.
More than 3,500 lawsuits have been filed alleging adverse health impacts from the use of the material to make Teflon at the Washington Works plant, now operated by Chemours, a company created in a spinoff last year. Several bellwether cases have been settled out of court or juries have found in the plaintiffs’ favor.
Authorities in the Netherlands are investigating C8 contamination in the area of the Dordrecht plant. Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. in Columbus ruled the information could be used in deliberations for punitive damages or claims by the company it has been proactive on safety.
“The knowledge DuPont possessed about potential dangers associated with C8, the time frame in which DuPont obtained that knowledge, DuPont’s decisions regarding its continued release of C8 into the environment and its decisions to inform the public of the potential dangers or not to inform are relevant and probative of whether DuPont exhibited a conscious disregard for the rights and safety persons that has a great probability of causing substantial harm,” Sargus’ order said.
A prosecutor in the Netherlands has began a criminal investigation into the use and release into the environment of C8 used at the plant, Sargus said. DuPont said requests for information in the discovery process of information from Dordrecht were a “fishing expedition.”
Location of the DuPont plant in the Netherlands does not prohibit introduction of the evidence, the order said.