Starting in April 2017, DuPont will be forced to defend 40 trials a year from people who developed Kidney or Testicular cancer as a result of their exposure to C8, also known as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid).
Acknowledging that 3,552 cases are currently pending in the MDL—between 250 and 300 of those being cancer cases—U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus laid out a scheduling plan that would involve juries getting 40 individual cancer cases every 12 months, with a new trial starting every week.
The first bellwether case went to trial in September of last year and resulted in a $1.6 million verdict for Plaintiff Carla Bartlett. Ms. Bartlett had developed kidney cancer as a result of her exposure to the C8 contaminated water.
DuPont has announced its intention to appeal the verdict to the Sixth Circuit and it requested that further trials wait until the appeal is decided. Lawyers for the cancer victims urged the trial judge to push forward with the trials and requested an aggressive continuous scheduling plan from the Court. Judge Sargus stated at the status conference that “people shouldn’t have to wait ten years for a trial. That’s not going to happen.”
These new trial settings, starting in April 2017, will be the first wave of trials following the originally set “bellwether” cases that will be tried this year. The next bellwether case is scheduled for trial in May and involves a man suffering from testicular cancer and the final two bellwethers are slated for trial in August and November 2016. These trials are the result of several decades of DuPont knowingly dumping dangerous chemicals into the Ohio River and the surrounding community water systems.
Since the 1950s, DuPont has owned and operated the Washington Works Plaint in Wood County, West Virginia. DuPont knowingly used the hazardous and toxic chemical C8 in its manufacturing process of its various products. In 2001, West Virginia residents filed a class action alleging that the Washington Works plant had discharged C8 into public and private drinking water sources in Little Hocking, Lubeck, Belpre, Tuppers Plains, Pomeroy and Mason Counties. In 2005, as part of a settlement to the 2001 filed class action, DuPont agreed to establish a scientific panel of epidemiologists to study diseases among the 80,000 exposed residents and to determine which diseases were “linked” to C8.
The science panel ultimately confirmed that six diseases are linked to C8 exposure. Those diseases are: kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, and pregnancy-induced hypertension (preeclampsia). In 2012, following the release of the science panel’s findings, people with diseases linked by the reports to C8 exposure began filing lawsuits against DuPont.
If you or someone you care about suffered toxic exposure to C8, the experienced lawyers at Cory Watson Attorneys are ready to fight for you and are available to answer any questions you might have. Pick up the phone and call us at (877) 686-8992 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form on this page.