Jury orders DuPont to pay $10.5 million over leaked chemical

Thu Jan 5, 2017 12:02pm EST
 
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By Erica Teichert

(Reuters) - A U.S. jury in Ohio ordered DuPont on Thursday to pay $10.5 million in punitive damages to a man who said he developed testicular cancer from exposure to a toxic chemical leaked from a Dupont plant, the plaintiff's lawyer Robert Bilott said.

The federal jury had awarded Kenneth Vigneron $2 million in compensatory damages in December. Bilott said the jury also awarded attorneys' fees, to be determined at a later date.

This is the third and largest verdict that jurors in the Columbus, Ohio, federal court have issued against DuPont for injuries linked to perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA or C-8, which is used to make Teflon. The $12.5 million in damages is more than double the amount awarded in a case decided in July.

"The jury has sent a strong message that we hope DuPont will listen to," Bilott said in an email to Reuters.

DuPont faces more than 3,400 lawsuits over the leak of the chemical from its Parkersburg, West Virginia, plant.

The leak allegedly contaminated local water supplies and has been linked to six diseases, including testicular and kidney cancer. Vigneron claimed he developed testicular cancer from the chemical exposure.

DuPont has used C-8 at the West Virginia plant since the early 1950s. Vigneron alleged the company leaked the chemical from the facility during the course of its operations.

While DuPont is the named defendant in the litigation, it has an agreement that its performance chemicals spinoff Chemours Co will cover the costs of such lawsuits.   Continued...

 
The Dupont logo is displayed on a board above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S. on December 22, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo