A jury has awarded a $5.1 million verdict against DuPont in a lawsuit filed by an Ohio man who was diagnosed with testicular cancer caused by exposure to a toxic chemical produced by the company. David Freeman filed a lawsuit against DuPont alleging that he developed testicular cancer after being exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid, a chemical that is used to make Teflon products.
Perfluorooctanoic acid, which is also known as PFOA or C-8, was once used in Teflon products in order to give them their non-stick quality. When 3M stopped producing C-8 in 2000, DuPont began manufacturing the chemical itself. Neither company currently manufacturers C-8. Chemours, which has carried on DuPont’s Teflon business after it was spun-off from the company in 2015, has agreed to cover the costs of litigation over the toxic effects of C-8 exposure.
According to his lawsuit against DuPont, Freeman has lived near the company’s Washington Works plant for more than 20 years. The lawsuit alleged that DuPont dumped C-8 into the waterways near the plant despite the fact that the company has known about the dangers of this chemical for decades.
In 2005, DuPont was forced to pay fines of $16.5 million for failing to report evidence of the toxic effects of exposure to C-8 to the Environmental Protection Agency. DuPont has known since 1961 about the hazardous effects of exposure to C-8, and failed to report an in-house study to the EPA which showed an increased risk of birth defects among employees who were exposed to the chemical.
The $5.1 million verdict against DuPont is the second consecutive verdict against the company in bellwether trials involving C-8. In January, a jury awarded $1.6 million to a woman who filed a lawsuit against DuPont over C-8 contamination. DuPont also reached an undisclosed settlement in a third lawsuit involving PFOA.
DuPont is currently facing about 3,400 lawsuits filed by Ohio residents who became ill after being exposed to C-8. Studies have shown that exposure to this toxic chemical can increase the risk of developing testicular and kidney cancer, high blood pressure during pregnancy, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol. Legal experts have predicted that DuPont may be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle the remaining lawsuits over the toxic effects of C-8.
Victim of Chemical Exposure? You Have Legal Rights.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of chemical exposure caused by the negligence of an oil, natural gas, or chemical company, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for the injuries you have suffered. Filing a lawsuit against a large corporation can be expensive, difficult, and time-consuming. The industry is willing to use its resources to fight long and hard to avoid financial responsibility for the damage caused by their products.
In a lawsuit alleging that property damage or health problems were caused by chemical contamination, the law generally requires a plaintiff to prove the defendant’s conduct was at least a “substantial factor” in bringing about the plaintiff’s injury. In a case alleging injury from toxic exposure, the evidence of causation will need to be premised on evidence from a qualified expert witness on (1) whether the disease (or injury) can be related to chemical exposure by a biologically plausible theory; (2) whether the plaintiff was exposed to the chemical in a manner that can lead to absorption in the body; and (3) whether the dose the plaintiff was exposed to is sufficient to cause the disease or injury.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have the experience and dedication to handle personal injury and product liability cases against the chemical industry or other corporations from start to finish. In many instances, we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of our clients in order to take a case to trial. Whatever the cost, our law firm is committed to achieving justice for our clients.
If you or a loved one were the victim of chemical exposure, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few questions about your case to get started.