One of the most horrific events that can happen to a community is chemical dumping or other toxic spills. Once a dangerous chemical is released into the environment, it can have irreversible and devastating impacts that can lead to serious health consequences or even death. Recently, a plaintiff from West Virginia was awarded $5.1 million in a lawsuit alleging that major international chemical maker DuPont acted recklessly when it dumped toxic waste into waterways in the state. The plaintiff, a 56-year-old man, suffered testicular cancer as a result of coming into contact with C-8, a chemical agent that DuPont uses in manufacturing Teflon.
Filed in October 2013, the lawsuit alleges that DuPont released waste material containing C-8 from its Washington Works Plant located in Wood County “directly into the air, the Ohio River, and unlined non-hazardous waste landfills in the vicinity of the plant and local drinking wells.” The lawsuit also claims that DuPont knew the substances would contaminate the surface waters and the subterranean waters.
The case was tried in early July, and the jury concluded that DuPont acted with malice when it repeatedly dumped the C-8 waste into the waterways, knowing that it would poison drinking water. The jury is now considering whether to award punitive damages to the plaintiff against DuPont. Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant that engaged in willful, reckless, malicious, or wanton behavior. They are also intended to dissuade other individuals and companies from engaging in similar behavior.
This lawsuit is the first of 3,500 lawsuits pending against DuPont, making similar allegations regarding illnesses stemming from exposure to toxic C-8. A prior lawsuit against DuPont, brought by a woman who suffered cancer as a result of coming into contact with the toxic waste, garnered a $1.6 million jury verdict. This result is now on appeal.
Toxic tort claims are a type of personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleges that he or she has suffered serious health consequences as a result of the defendant’s failure to use due care when disposing of, handling, or otherwise utilizing toxic chemicals. They frequently arise in the context of clean drinking water issues. Toxic torts can also be asserted in situations in which a worker has come into contact with a dangerous chemical during his or her job. If an employer fails to use appropriate safety protocols when ordering employees to handle toxic chemicals, they can be held liable. These lawsuits can involve single plaintiffs as well as large groups of individuals in similar neighborhoods or localities.
If you believe you have become ill as a result of exposure to a toxic substance, the skilled and compassionate water contamination lawyers at Moll Law Group are prepared to help you seek the judgment or settlement that you deserve. We assist victims throughout the nation, including in Illinois, California, Texas, and Florida. Toxic tort cases can be complex and difficult to investigate, especially when you are going up against a large company. We can assist you with all aspects of the case from start to finish and ensure that your rights are asserted along the way. Call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your free appointment.