November 7, 2013 — DuPont is facing at least 46 lawsuits involving toxic chemical exposure to C8. The lawsuits were filed by residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley who drank water contaminated with C8 (perfluorooctanoid acid or PFOA), an industrial chemical used by DuPont’s Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where products like Teflon and Gore-Tex were manufactured.
The lawsuits have been centralized in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Judge Edmund A. Sargus will oversee the litigation. The MDL litigation is designed to prevent duplicative discover, avoid conflicting rulings in different courts, reduce the burden on the court system, and serve the convenience of parties, witnesses.
About 80,000 residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley filed a class action lawsuit against DuPont in 2001. This lawsuit resulted in a settlement in which DuPont was ordered to pay as much as $343 million to remove C8 from the water supply and provide medical tests to residents.
Now that the class action has concluded, residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley who were injured by C8 exposure are filing individual lawsuits against DuPont.
Lawsuits include at least nine Ohio and West Virginia residents who have cancer and other diseases, including one wrongful death lawsuit. The number of lawsuits has been growing since April, when a court-appointed science panel linked C8 exposure to an increased risk of the following side effects:
- kidney cancer
- testicular cancer
- thyroid disease
- ulcerative colitis
- pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- and more