A settlement agreement is in the works to resolve more than 3,500 C8 personal injury claims. DuPont will pay roughly $670 million to settle all of the cases.
Residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley who live in one of six PFOA contaminated water districts may be eligible to file claims against the corporation if they suffer from one or more of the related diseases. The C8 Science Panel determined that exposure in Mid-Ohio Valley residents can be linked to testicular and kidney cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, pre-eclampsia and medically diagnosed high cholesterol.
Today’s announcement will resolve all of the MOV cases filed against DuPont to date. Individuals who worked or lived in one of the six contaminated areas for at least a year prior to 2004 and who have developed related disease can file a personal injury claim against the corporation without having to provide their own potentially expensive scientific evidence.
If split evenly amongst the claimants, the settlement would pay out about $189,000 per case. However, class counsel Harry Deitzler said different medical conditions will be assigned different settlement amounts.
“Cancer cases will be different from other diseases,” Deitzler explained. “In typical mass tort cases, there is a “grid” proposal which provides an offer to each person based on the disease or condition from which he or she suffers.”
The plaintiff’s lead attorney Rob Bilott released the following statement:
“Today, DuPont publicly disclosed that it has reached a settlement in principle to resolve the C8 Personal Injury Multi-District Litigation now pending in federal court in Columbus, Ohio for $670.7 Million in cash. The litigation arises from a 2001 class action lawsuit involving DuPont’s contamination of the drinking water supplies of approximately 70,000 people in West Virginia and Ohio with the toxic chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (also known as PFOA or C8).
Under a 2004 settlement of the class claims, DuPont has paid or has committed to pay over $350 Million for impacted community water filtration systems, class member blood and health data collection, class member health studies, and class member medical monitoring. Today’s settlement in principle involving payment by DuPont of an additional $670.7 Million to address the individual personal injury claims of approximately 3500 class members who claim that the C8 in their drinking water led to one or more of six diseases linked to the contamination of their drinking water with C8.
This is a tremendous positive step toward resolving the litigation in a way that provides compensation for our injured clients without the need for additional, lengthy, and expensive trials. We look forward to working with DuPont to finalize this settlement and get these injured class members paid as quickly as possible.”
Officials from the activist organization Keep Your Promises DuPont say they are cautiously optimistic about the settlement.
“DuPont’s settlement offer of $670.7 million for the 3,550 local residents harmed by C8 represents an enormous step in the right direction, and we are cautiously optimistic that the company will prevent any further delay, that this offer will be approved by the plaintiffs, and that this long-awaited promise will finally be fulfilled,” said Harold Bock. “As of this announcement, no checks have been written and no compensation has been paid. Folks who have already had their days in court, including Carla Bartlett, David Freeman, and Kenneth Vigneron, have had their awards bogged down in appeals. For DuPont and Chemours, who have shamelessly dragged this crisis out for decades, it is time to make good on this settlement offer without any further delay.”
Bock said no settlement can restore the health of the thousands of victims, but he is “heartened to know that this long-awaited justice for these 3,550 members of our community is now within arm’s reach.”
As soon as additional information becomes available about the details of the suit, RCNN will provide updates.