Many decades ago, the toxic chemical C8 contaminated drinking water in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
If you drank water contaminated with C8 for at least one year, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against DuPont if you developed high cholesterol, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), or preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).
October 2012 — This month, the C8 Science Panel published its final “Probable Link” report, which associated C8 exposure to high cholesterol. The first three C8 personal injury lawsuits have also been filed. It is likely that the litigation will continue growing as more people with health complications seek justice for their injuries.
What’s the problem?
DuPont’s Washington Works plant, located in Parkersburg, West Virginia, emitted massive amounts of the toxic, carcinogenic chemical C8 (also known as PFOA or perfluorooctanoate acid) into the air and groundwater. DuPont also disposed of C8 in landfills along the Ohio River. This contaminated the drinking water in four water districts in the Mid-Ohio Valley, and two water districts in West Virginia.
Despite the fact that DuPont identified C8 in the water in the 1980s, they did not inform area residents about the contamination until 2002. More than 70,000 people in six water districts in Ohio and West Virginia filed a class action lawsuit against DuPont. In 2005, DuPont settled the lawsuit with the residents.
One stipulation of the settlement required DuPont to establish the C8 Science Panel, which researched “probable links” between C8 exposure and diseases. If the panel found any diseases, DuPont must pay up to $235 million to fund a community health monitoring program.
C8 Science Panel and “Probable Link” Diseases
The C8 Science Panel, comprised of three prominent epidemiologists, has identified six diseases that have a “probable link” to C8 exposure:
- High cholesterol
- Kidney cancer
- Thyroid disease
- Testicular cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis)
- High blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia)
These diseases are more likely among people who drank water contaminated with C8 for at least one year prior to December 3, 2004.
Ohio Water Districts Contaminated with C8
The following Ohio water districts were contaminated with C8 prior to December 2004:
- Little Hocking, Ohio
- City of Belpre, Ohio
- Tuppers Plains, Ohio
- Village of Pomeroy, Ohio
DuPont has installed a state-of-the-art water purification system that has reduced C8 in the drinking water to nearly undetectable levels.