February 15, 2017 by Canadian Plastics
Chemical suppliers DuPont Co. and Chemours Co. will pay nearly US$671 million to settle thousands of lawsuits related to the release of the fluoropolymer chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from a plant in West Virginia more than a decade ago.
Chemours was spun off from DuPont two years ago.
More than 3,500 federal and state lawsuits allege that DuPont’s Washington Works plant, near Parkersburg, West Virginia, had dumped PFOA into the Ohio River, contaminating the local drinking water and causing illness and disease, including cancer. PFOA, also known as C8, is used to make Teflon.
The lawsuits, filed in state and federal courts in West Virginia and Ohio, had been consolidated in multi-district litigation in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio.
DuPont said it will pay half of the settlement and Chemours will pay the other half. The settlement covers all pending claims and those in which jury verdicts had been rendered. Both companies deny any wrongdoing.
Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont said it shut down operations involving PFOA more than a decade ago at the plant in West Virginia. DuPont and Chemours also have an agreement to cover any future liabilities related to the release of the chemical.