According to trial testimony yesterday in the case of Carla Bartlett v. DuPont, a doctor working for DuPont in 1991 recommended additional safety studies on the Teflon chemical C8. He thought DuPont needed to further investigate its link to kidney and bladder cancer. Dr. William Fayerweather was concerned about data from 1981 that showed a higher-than-expected rate of these cancers among DuPont workers, who had been exposed to C8. Although a meeting within the company was held in 1991 to discuss the proposal, DuPont declined, citing costs and liability concerns.
Even more shocking, DuPont told Dr. Fayerweather that it would “do the study after we are sued.” And sued they have been! There are now more than 3,500 lawsuits pending against DuPont in the Federal District Court in Columbus, Ohio. Each relates to the company’s discharge of the cancer-causing chemical C8 into the water around its Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
In the first such case to go trial, attorney Mike Papantonio with Levin Papantonio is leading a team of lawyers seeking compensation for kidney cancer suffered by local resident Carla Bartlett. Evidence previously presented by the trial team against DuPont showed that an independent scientific panel has linked C8 to kidney cancer, and that residents around DuPont’s plant, like Ms. Bartlett, were exposed to the toxin in their drinking water from discharges intentionally released from the plant by DuPont.
After presenting the testimony of Ms. Bartlett in court yesterday, Bartlett’s legal team rested their case. The trial is expected to resume Monday with DuPont presenting its defense.