November 7, 2013 — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has centralized 46 C8 chemical exposure lawsuits will be centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, before Judge Edmund A. Sargus.
The establishment of a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) is intended to improve the efficiency of the litigation, reduce the burden on the courts, serve the convenience of parties and witnesses, prevent duplicative discovery, and avoid conflicting rulings in different courts.
Plaintiffs in the litigation were injured by one of the following side effects:
- kidney cancer
- testicular cancer
- thyroid disease
- ulcerative colitis
- pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- and more
The number of C8 lawsuits has grown significantly since April, when a science panel concluded that exposure to C8 (also known as perfluorooctanoid acid or PFOA) could have severe health consequences. The panel was established as a condition of a class action lawsuit settlement in 2001.
In the class action, DuPont was ordered to pay $343 million to remove C8 from the drinking water supply in the Mid-Ohio Valley. About 80,000 residents of Ohio and West Virginia were exposed to the toxic chemical for decades. It was originally released by DuPont’s Washington Works Plant in West Virginia as a byproduct of manufacturing Teflon, Gore-Tex, and other products.