DuPont to Pay $5.1M for Chemical Dumping

     COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) — A cancer survivor was awarded $5.1 million after a federal jury found Wednesday that chemical giant DuPont acted with malice by dumping tainted waste into West Virginia waters.
     David Freeman, 56, of Washington County, W.Va., claimed to have contracted testicular cancer from C-8, a chemical that E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. —commonly referred to as DuPont — used to make Teflon.
     In his October 2013 lawsuit, Freeman claimed DuPont dumped C-8 wastes from its Washington Works Plant in Wood County, W.Va., “directly into the air, the Ohio River, and unlined non-hazardous waste landfills in the vicinity of the plant and local drinking wells,” knowing that the C-8 would contaminate the water table and surface waters.
     DuPont claimed that it closely monitored the amount of C-8 in the drinking water, and that there was not enough to be harmful.
     But a jury hearing the case found Wednesday that DuPont acted with malice by continuing to dump the waste, although it knew it was poisoning drinking water for Ohio and West Virginia communities along the Ohio River.
     Freeman’s lawsuit is among the first of about 3,500 to be heard, all claiming the water dumped into the Ohio River caused varying illnesses. In an earlier case, a jury awarded $1.6 million to a woman who contracted cancer. That case is under appeal.
     The jury began deliberations Thursday on punitive damages.
     Freeman apparently beat his cancer but is worried it will return, according to a Columbus Dispatch report.
     He is represented by Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler PLLC in Charleston, W.Va.; Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris in Birmingham, Ala.; Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty Proctor PA in Pensacola, Fla., and Douglas & London PC in New York.

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