October 13, 2015

Ohio federal court jurors find C8 maker liable for causing woman’s cancer

C8_3An Ohio federal court jury handed down a $1.6 million judgement against Delaware-based chemical company DuPont after concluding the company’s negligent dumping of C8 chemicals in the Ohio river caused plaintiff Carla M. Bartlett’s kidney cancer. The verdict is seen as a positive indication for 3,500 other C8 plaintiffs awaiting trial. The lawsuits allege DuPont caused their injuries by dispersing C8, a cancer-causing agent, into Ohio Valley drinking water.

Attorneys for the plaintiff were optimistic about the outcomes of future cases, acknowledging Bartlett’s case was one of the weaker claims among the bellwether trials scheduled this year. DuPont’s attorneys recommended trying Bartlett’s case over another selected by federal judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. Jury selection for a second C8 trial, Wolf v. Dupont, is scheduled for late November.

C8 is one of the main chemicals used to create Teflon, a material used in various applications ranging from non-stick cookware to industrial insulation. DuPont manufactures the cancer-causing C8 chemical at its Washington Works plant in Washington, West Virginia. In 2005, DuPont settled a $16.8 million complaint with federal regulators after investigators determined DuPont disguised health information about C8.

DuPont knew as far back as 1961 about C8’s dangers, according to Bartlett’s attorneys. A 2012 health study funded by DuPont found links between C8 exposure and numerous medical conditions, including a probable link to certain cancers. While DuPont acknowledged C8 is capable of causing cancer, it denied causing Bartlett’s health problems.

As a law firm committed to protecting the rights of ordinary people against powerful entities, The Cochran Firm, D.C. celebrates the result of this important case. Our firm was a member of the plaintiff’s legal team, aiding in the fight for justice against a powerful corporation harming others through reckless, negligent behavior.