[JURIST] DuPont and Chemours Co [corporate websites] settled [Reuters report] approximately 3,550 personal injury claims for $671 million on Monday. The claims arose after a leak of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) [EPA materials], a chemical used to make Teflon with known links to cancer, from DuPont’s Parkersburg, West Virginia, plant. The claimants alleged that the chemical contaminated their water supplies and had been linked to the appearance of six separate diseases, including testicular and kidney cancer, in the area. In a statement [text], DuPont claimed to have phased out the usage of PFOA entirely in 2013, two years before production of the chemical was completely halted. Both DuPont and Chemours Co denied any wrongdoing.
This settlement comes in the wake of DuPont’s $130 billion merger with Dow Chemical [official website], which is expected to be completed later this year. In 2005 DuPont settled [JURIST report] an EPA lawsuit regarding its use of PFOA for $16.5 million. Although this settlement was the largest ever collected under federal environmental laws at the time, DuPont denied any wrongdoing. Also in 2005 two Florida law firms filed a claim [JURIST report] on behalf of 14 plaintiffs who argued that DuPont had used PFOA in its non-stick cookware and DuPont also settled another PFOA lawsuit for $340 million in West Virginia. In both instances, DuPont denied any wrongdoing.