Doug / 06-03-2011 / Personal Injury

Residents Sue DuPont Over Various Illnesses, Including Cancer From Toxic Waste

According to the Digital Journal, DuPont has said that plaintiffs in West Virginia pollution case should be denied the right to enroll in a related, court-administered medical monitoring program. DuPont argues there is no point in testing for early detection of illnesses and cancers if they are already sick, in regards to the West Virginia personal injury case. Lead plaintiff Rebecca Morlock has argued that she and her neighbors are still being exposed to arsenic, cadmium, lead and zinc from the site of a former zinc smelting plant, and that some illnesses and cancers can take decades to manifest.

Morlock and 14 other plaintiffs sued the West Virginia chemical company last summer after their victory in a long-running class action lawsuit. The chemical plant produced more than 4 billion pounds of slab zinc and 400 million pounds of zinc dust for use in various rust proofing products. Over the past few decades, the plant produced a toxic waste pile that stood 100 feet tall and covered nearly half of the 112 acre site, causing toxic dust to blow into nearby homes, causing personal injuries.

DuPont closed the plant in 2001 and worked with state regulators to demolish buildings and cap the site. However, in 2007 a jury ruled DuPont was negligent in creating the massive toxic waste pile and that it has deliberately downplayed and mislead neighbors about possible health risks. The high court ruled that thousands of residents were entitled to $130 million, 40-year medical monitoring program and $55.5 million cleanup fund for private properties. The plaintiffs claim DuPont has caused them dozens of health problems such as ovarian and uterine cancer, mental distress, kidney problems, low IQ scores, skin lesions, thyroid, vascular and connective tissue diseases.

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