(Adds background on Chemours covering lawsuit liability, past
By Erica Teichert
Dec 21 A U.S. jury in Ohio on Wednesday ordered
DuPont to pay $2 million to a man who said he developed
testicular cancer from exposure to a toxic chemical leaked from
one of the company's plants, according to the plaintiff's lawyer
The federal jury also found DuPont acted with actual malice,
raising the possibility of punitive damages, Bilott said. It is
the third time jurors in Columbus, Ohio federal court have found
DuPont liable for injuries linked to perfluorooctanoic acid,
known as PFOA or C-8, which is used to make Teflon.
There are more than 3,400 lawsuits pending against DuPont
over the chemical leak, which allegedly contaminated local water
supplies. Chemours Co, the performance chemicals unit
which was spun off from DuPont last year, has an agreement to
cover the costs of such lawsuits.
Chemours spokeswoman Cynthia Salitsky stressed in a
statement that Dupont was the named defendant in the cases and
would be directly liable. She also noted that the litigation
would likely continue for many years and the final outcomes
could be different from the interim results.
DuPont declined to comment on the verdict, citing the
pending punitive damages phase of the trial.
The plaintiff, Kenneth Vigneron, claimed he was exposed to
C-8 from drinking the water in Washington County, Ohio, which is
along the border with West Virginia, where the Dupont plant was
DuPont has lost two other recent trials over C-8. The first
ended in October 2015 with an award of $1.6 million to a woman
who claimed the chemical caused her to develop kidney cancer.
In July 2016, a jury in a case involving a plaintiff with
testicular cancer also found Dupont acted with actual malice.
The jury returned a verdict of $5.1 million, which was later
bolstered with $500,000 in punitive damages.
Those two trials were test cases, or bellwethers, meant to
determine the major issues and gauge the scale of liability for
the remaining litigation. Wednesday's verdict comes in the first
non-bellwether trial, with 39 more cases slated to go to trial
in Columbus in the next year.
(Reporting by Erica Teichert; Editing by Bernard Orr)