Issue Date: March 7, 2005
DuPont Settles PFOA Case For $107.6 Million
DuPont will pay $107.6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit involving perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) under a deal approved by a West Virginia court.
The case alleged that residents near DuPont's plant outside Parkersburg, W.Va., were harmed from drinking water that was tainted with PFOA released by the facility. The plant uses PFOA as a surfactant to manufacture Teflon-brand polytetrafluoroethylene (C&EN, Aug. 30, 2004, page 17).
DuPont agreed to initial cash payments and expenditures worth $85 million. This money will help local utilities remove PFOA from drinking water and fund a study on whether there is a connection between exposure to the chemical and disease in humans. The company will also pay $22.6 million for the plaintiffs' legal fees and expenses.
Under the settlement, DuPont could shell out even more money in the future. Should the study conclude that exposure to PFOA is linked to health problems, the company will pay up to $235 million for a medical monitoring and testing program. Meanwhile, DuPont maintains that PFOA is safe.
"We are pleased with the court's decision and are ready to implement the terms of the settlement," said Paul J. Bossert Jr., manager of the DuPont plant, in a statement.
Harry G. Deitzler, a counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement, "The human health project approved by the court is unprecedented in scope and will provide incomprehensible benefit to all persons who may have been affected by C-8 [PFOA]."
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