Jan 22, 2015

C8 Lawsuits Filed by Wright & Schulte LLC

Lawsuit filed in the Ohio Valley alleged that contaminated drinking water from DuPont plant in West Virginia caused cancer and other health problems

A recently filed C8 lawsuit purports a 61-year-old Ohio woman developed high cholesterol as a result of consuming water contaminated by the C8 chemical released by DuPont’s Washington Works Plant in West Virginia. The Ohio woman asserts that from 1953 to present, she attended school and lived in the affected Lubeck Water Public Service District, City of Belpre Water District, Little Hocking Water Assn. and Tuppers Plains-Chester Water District. The lawsuit alleges that after DuPont knew that the C8 chemical was released from its Washington Works Plant and into the drinking water supplies in the nearby areas, it did not disclose the information to the people drinking that water. The complaint further alleges that the C8 releases from the plant have made the Ohio woman physically ill and physically harmed and that she is at a significantly increased risk of cancer and other diseases. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio (Case No. 2:14-cv-1650).

The firm is currently representing numerous plaintiffs in C8 water contamination lawsuits and continues to offer free consultations to individuals who believe they have developed one or more of the illnesses listed in the C8 Science Panel findings. Attorney Richard W. Schulte, one of Wright & Schulte LLC's founding partners, is serving on the plaintiff’s steering committee for C8 litigation and urges all residents in the Ohio and West Virginia areas effected by the contaminated water to contact the office before the Jan. 31 deadline.

Wright & Schulte LLC further noted that high cholesterol is one of six disorders identified by the C8 Science Panel as having a probable link to exposure to C8-contaminated water. The C8 Science Panel was established as part of the settlement terms of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2001 on behalf of nearly 70,000 Ohio and West Virginia residents who were exposed to water contaminated by the C8 chemical released by the Washington Works Plant (Leach v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., No. 01-C-608 (W. Va. Cir. Ct.)). DuPont agreed to pay for the C8 Science Panel to determine whether there are probable links between C8 exposure and diseases in the community. In a report released in October 2012, the panel found that there was a probable link between C8 exposure and the following health disorders: 

  • High cholesterol;
  • Kidney cancer;
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension (pre-eclampsia);
  • Testicular cancer;
  • Thyroid disease; and
  • Ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease).

DuPont also agreed to pay for medical monitoring for Mid-Ohio Valley residents who lived or worked in six C8-affected water districts for at least one year prior to 2004. The affected water districts are:

  • City of Belpre, Ohio;
  • Little Hocking, Ohio;
  • Lubeck Public Service District, West Virginia;
  • Mason County Public Service District, West Virginia;
  • Tuppers Plains, Ohio; and
  • Village of Pomeroy, Ohio.

DuPont recently argued in court papers that the C8 Science Panel’s findings were limited, and therefore, plaintiffs who filed personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits must show that they were exposed to a sufficient dose of the chemical to prove that it caused their disease. U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus Jr., who is presiding over the C8 litigation, issued a ruling on Dec. 17, 2014, that rejected DuPont’s arguments. Sargus held that DuPont had previously agreed to the probable link findings by the C8 Science Panel and therefore “the individual plaintiffs are not required to come forward with evidence proving that their individual dosage of C8 is sufficient to permit the probable link finding to be applied to them.” He further ruled that DuPont “cannot now prevent a class member from the benefit of such a finding by pointing out the limitations in the objective criteria or protocols the science panel used to make its conclusions" (In Re: E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Company C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433).

The attorneys at Wright & Schulte LLC report that the deadline is quickly approaching for Ohio and West Virginia residents to file C8 lawsuits due to the statute of limitations involved in this case. The U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio’s master case list shows there are 1,455 C8 lawsuit complaints pending in the litigation and more than 2,400 C8 lawsuits have been filed in Wood County Circuit Court in West Virginia (In Re: E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Company C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433).