On Friday, an Ohio jury ruled that not only would single plaintiff David Freeman be receiving $5.1 million from DuPont, but he would also receive $500,000 in punitive damages, a clear indication that the jury felt the role DuPont played in Freeman’s life was malicious.

On Wednesday, the jury sided with David Freeman in a case against corporate giant DuPont over their cancer-causing C8 chemical dumped into the Ohio river for decades. For his win, Freeman was awarded $5.1 million, with punitive awards being deliberated by the jury for the remainder of the week.

In the previous case of this kind against DuPont, no punitive damages were decided upon. This is the second individual case to be brought against DuPont, and each case is being handled individually rather than in a class-action suit. Now, 3,500 other cases just like this are ready to move forward against DuPont.

Punitive damages are especially important in cases like this because it shows that the jury believed that not only was DuPont guilty of what the plaintiff was claiming, but that they believe the chemical company acted in a malicious manner, deserving of additional damages.

Now, the jury has announced the punitive penalties being lodged against DuPont in addition to the $5.1 million payout will be in the amount of $500,000, as well as covering all attorney fees. In a large and long-lasting case like this, attorney fees are no small number and could be anywhere from 2 to 4 million additional dollars from the corporation.

This means that rather than just paying the initial $5.1 million, DuPont could be stuck footing a bill of nearly $10 million.

The precedent set in this case will no doubt carry over into the 3,500 other cases just like this one waiting in the wings.

For a detailed discussion of C8, click DuPont C8 Poisoning and Litigation.

Juries will no doubt continue to see that DuPont knowingly exposed innocent civilians to cancer-causing C8 for decades while continually covering up the evidence and keeping those exposed in the dark. DuPont didn’t just cause Mr. Freeman’s cancer, but they knew it would happen and they repeatedly did nothing.

The only language DuPont understands is cold hard cash, and suits like this are hitting them right where it hurts.

 

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com