In the water contamination trial now underway in Columbus, Ohio, testimony of a local physician Tuesday assigned the blame for the claimant’s kidney cancer on the chemical known as C8, which DuPont used in the making of Teflon. Ohio physician Robert R. Bahnson, MD testified that he first met Carla Bartlett in 1997 and soon thereafter had to perform a radical surgery to remove part of her kidney. A pathology report followed from that surgery and demonstrated a multicystic renal cell carcinoma; in other words, kidney cancer.
Dr. Bahnson subsequently came to learn more about the chemical C8, to which Ms. Bartlett was exposed from her drinking water, and he concluded that the chemical was a substantial factor in her getting cancer in her kidney. Further, Dr. Bahnson was able to dismiss the suggestion that her cancer was hereditary by looking at the type of cancer involved in her kidney. As Dr. Bahnson explained in an earlier written report, “It is my understanding that, on April 15, 2012, the C8 Science Panel concluded on the basis of epidemiologic and other data available that, among class members, there is a probable link between exposure to C8 (also known as PFOA) and testicular cancer and kidney cancer.”
Dr. Bahnson concluded: “based on my records for Ms. Bartlett, as well as my training and experience, I have considered and ruled out the following risk factors as potentially contributing to Ms. Bartlett’s kidney cancer: she was a 41-year old Caucasian woman with no history of genetic and hereditary risk factors, hypertension, smoking, workplace chemical exposure, advanced kidney disease, or use of phenacetin or diuretics. Finally, as stated above and in my deposition on this matter, I do not believe her obesity at the time of her diagnosis was a contributing factor to her kidney cancer. Thus, having ruled out these potential risk factors, I find to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Carla M. Bartlett’s exposure to C8 in her drinking water was a substantial factor in bringing about the development of her kidney cancer.”
The jury in this ongoing trial will continue to receive evidence for their consideration before rendering the ultimate verdict. Ms. Bartlett is being represented by Mike Papantonio with the law firm of Levin Papantonio.