The lawsuit was filed by Kenneth Vigneron, a man from Ohio who developed testicular cancer at the age of 27. He was exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, a toxic chemical byproduct of making Teflon and Gore-Tex.
Lawyers say DuPont dumped C8 in the Ohio River and released it in the air for decades, sickening residents near the Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and lied about health risks when C8 was found in tap water.
The same jury will meet on January 4, 2017 to decide whether to award him punitive damages.
DuPont will face around 40 more C8 trials next year. Two other lawsuits have gone to trial — $1.6 million was awarded to a woman with kidney cancer in October 2015. Another jury awarded $5.6 million to a man with testicular cancer in July 2016.
DuPont and other U.S. manufacturers have completely stopped using C8 and it was recently banned by the FDA.
C8 is a man-made chemical that stays in the human body and the environment forever — 98% of Americans have low levels of C8 in their blood. Higher levels are seen in people who drink C8 in water.
DuPont has spent nearly two decades fighting lawsuits over C8 contamination in the drinking water. Lawyers say the company has known C8 was toxic since at least 1961.
As part of a class action settlement, DuPont paid scientists to study the side effects of C8. Exposure was linked to kidney cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, testicular cancer, pregnancy-induced hypertension (preeclampsia), and high cholesterol.
Lawsuits have been filed by around 3,500 residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley who developed these side effects and want compensation for their injuries and medical expenses. The cases are centralized under U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus in West Virginia. Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2433).
Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail