C8 Class Action Settlement Details
Who is in the class action?
A class action lawsuit against DuPont on behalf of persons in the Parkersburg regional area affected by C-8 water contamination was certified by Judge George W. Hill in the Circuit Court of Wood County, West Virginia on November 23, 2004 (Leach, et al v. E. I. DuPont deNemours and Co.). Judge Moats is currently the presiding judge over the certified class action case. The class that was certified includes all people within six named water districts, or users of certain specified private water wells, whose drinking water was contaminated with C-8 attributable to releases from DuPont’s Washington Works plant. To qualify as a member of the class, a person must have been drinking contaminated water for at least one year prior to December 4, 2004 from one of six named water districts, or specified private drinking water wells contaminated with C-8. The affected water districts are (1) Little Hocking, Ohio; (2) Lubeck Public Service District, West Virginia; (3) City of Belpre, Ohio; (4) Tuppers Plains, Ohio; (5) Mason County Public Service District, West Virginia; (6) Village of Pomeroy, Ohio. It does not matter where class members now reside, so long as they lived in one of the contaminated areas and drank the water for at least one year effective December 4, 2004.
What is the status of the C-8 class action litigation against DuPont?
A settlement was reached with DuPont in the original (Leach v. E. I. DuPont) class action lawsuit. The entire settlement was approved and ratified by the Court on February 28, 2005. The ratified settlement provided for payment of $70 million for a health and education project for the benefit of class members. With interest, the actual budget exceeded $71 million. The settlement also mandated that DuPont pay for the installation of state-of-the-art water treatment technology for the six identified water districts and private wells to clean C-8 in the water supply to the lowest practicable levels. Although DuPont became less than cooperative during implementation, over $20 million has been paid by DuPont for the mandated water filtering. Water in all six affected districts is now filtered to a level where C-8 is nearly non-detectable. In addition, as a result of the settlement, DuPont was forced to pay more than $30 million to fund a health study, utilizing a panel of three highly credentialed epidemiologists, to determine whether there are any probable links between C-8 exposure and adverse health effects in humans. The C8 Science Panel began announcing its initial probable link findings in December of 2011 and finished its work with final probable link findings which conclusively link C-8 exposure to six human diseases which were finalized to the court by agreement of the parties as of January 28, 2013. Based on the probable link findings of the C8 Science Panel, DuPont is required to make funds available (up to $235 million if necessary) for the medical monitoring of class members. Medical monitoring in that context means testing to detect the presence of, or likely beginning of, any C-8 linked diseases. That testing is conducted through the C8 Medical Monitoring Program which is now available to all eligible class members. Funding under this program is only provided for testing-not treatment. Class member rights to pursue claims for treatment expenses (and other losses) related to C8 linked diseases were preserved separately under the 2005 class action settlement.
What is Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC, doing in C-8 class action litigation?
Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, P.L.L.C. is one of three law firms designated as lead class counsel representing the people (in the impacted water zone) who have consumed water contaminated with C-8, which came from the DuPont Washington Works plant, located in Wood County, West Virginia. Our law firm has been involved in the investigation and litigation of this matter with our co-class counsel from the very beginning, resulting in suit being filed against DuPont in August 2001. Our co-counsel on C8 cases are Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP and Winter & Johnson PLLC. Together, we have worked with many experts in developing the evidence and proof necessary to bring this matter to a fair and just conclusion. Those experts include medical doctors, toxicologists, and chemists. We have also provided valuable information to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. As a result, that agency has brought charges of violations of environmental laws against DuPont for the manner in which DuPont has caused many people to be exposed to this toxic chemical.
Do I have a claim in the settled Leach (Leach v. E. I. DuPont) C-8 class action?
If you have lived in one of the six C-8 contaminated areas referenced above or used one of the specified private water wells, and have consumed water contaminated with C-8 from such sources for at least one year during the time prior to December 4, 2004 when the C8 contamination reached the threshold level of 0.05 ppb or greater at the qualifying source, you are a member of the Leach class action (unless you are one of the individuals who opted out of the lawsuit in 2005– the time limit for those individuals as to past claims is likely expired). Any class member who suffers from, suffered in the past from, or subsequently acquires, one of the six C8 linked diseases (or the class member’s beneficiaries in the event of death of the affected person) has a class action based right to make an individual claim for compensation arising from the adverse impact suffered as a result of DuPont’s C8 contamination of the affected person’s water. A time limit (statute of limitations) applies to those claims. Except as to minors or others under disability, the time limit for making a claim expires (in most cases) two years from the time when the C8 linked disease is first diagnosed or two years from the date at which the parties have agreed that the C8 Science Panel’s conclusions are finalized (whichever provides the latest expiration). If a lawsuit is not filed within that two year time frame, the affected individual may lose all right to recover compensation through the court system. We are not accepting new clients for C8 claims, so it is important that adversely affected individuals consult alternate counsel without delay.
What is the current status of the C8 Health Project, the C8 Science Panel, and class claims for medical monitoring or injury compensation?
C8 Health Project participants had their blood tested for C-8 levels. They also provided their individual medical histories and blood samples which extensively tested. The results were analyzed as part of an important study to determine whether or not C-8 exposure is linked to adverse medical effects in humans, and if so, what exact illnesses or diseases C-8 exposure causes. Although not every single class member participated in the C8 Health Project, only a very small percentage failed to partake. If you fit the definition of a class member (see last paragraph on page 3 of the November 23, 2004 Order Preliminarily Approving Proposed Settlement), you are a member of the class regardless of whether or not you participated in the C8 Health Project. C8 Health Project participants should have received reports of their C8 blood levels. As of the end of July 2006, a total of 69,096 class members had undergone blood testing and provided extensive medical histories about themselves. The data gathered from the blood testing and medical histories of the participating class members was tabulated by West Virginia University, and analyzed by the panel of three epidemiologists (the C8 Science Panel) along with all other information available regarding C-8. The C8 Science Panel found probable links between human disease and exposure of C-8. As a result, DuPont is now required to pay for medical monitoring (testing) recommended for class members by the independent C8 Medical Panel.
For purposes of an individual who suffers from one of the six C8 linked diseases, the probable link finding is conclusive on the question of whether or not C8 exposure can cause the linked disease from which the individual suffers.
To request additional information, or if you have any questions, please contact us through this website at 800-797-9730.
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