DuPont, Chemours agree to $670.7M settlement in C8 cases
- Author: Rita Burton Feb 14, 2017,
Feb 14, 2017, 0:44
DuPont and Chemours will each pay more than $335 million to settle the lawsuits, but neither company will admit any wrongdoing.
The lawyers struck the deal five weeks after a federal jury in Columbus, Ohio, told DuPont Co.to pay truck driver Keith Vigneron $10.5 million in punitive damages for his testicular cancer, which Vigneron blamed on pollution from the Parkersburg plant.
Chemours was spun off from DuPont two years ago.
The C8 lawsuits were consolidated in a "multidistrict litigation" overseen by U.S. Chief District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr.in the Southern District of Ohio.
"This agreement provides a sound resolution for area residents, Chemours, and the public", David C. Shelton, Chemours senior vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary.More news: Metallica and Lady Gaga are performing at the Grammys together
DuPont has already paid or committed to pay more than $350 million for impacted community water filtration systems, class member blood and health data collection, class member health studies and class member medical monitoring.
The settlement comes at a pivotal moment for DuPont, which is about to merge with Dow Chemical and subsequently split into three distinct companies.
About 3,550 lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts in OH and West Virginia alleging injury from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid in drinking water.
Both companies have also agreed to pay up to $25 million a year for any future cases not covered by the global settlement. In addition, Chemours will pay up to $25 million over each of the next five years for any future liabilities from PFOA, a processing aid used until 2015 to make fluoropolymers such as Teflon. Dupont purchased C8 from 3M from the 1950s through 2000, then manufactured it itself before eventually discontinuing its use. Several test cases in 2016 resulted in multi-million dollar awards for the plaintiffs, causing speculation that DuPont and Chemours would seek to settle.
Chemours has also agreed that, upon the settlement becoming effective, it will not contest its liability to DuPont for PFOA costs if Chemours believes the costs are generally applicable to the indemnification provisions under its agreement to separate from DuPont.