Years after a DuPont chemical factory exploded in Texas, the company has finally been fined a paltry $12 million dollars. Four people died in the explosion, nobody went to jail, and the company continued to pull in billions of dollars after nearly ruining an entire town. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: I promise you that’ll happen.

Years after a DuPont chemical factory exploded in Texas, the company’s finally been fined a poultry $12,000,000. Four people died in this explosion. Nobody went to jail. The company continued to pull in billions of dollars after nearly ruining an entire town. And it’s just, it’s okay. It’s all right. The problem, it’s not just this. DuPont was dumping all of these toxins into the waterways, into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the equivalent of me going over to your, hey, Farron, you’re my neighbor. You have a nice swimming pool. I really don’t want to pay to have the sewage department get rid of my sewage. Can I dump it in your pool? You see, of course not. And I’d be arrested if I did that. These folks get away with that times a gazillion, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And it’s actually.

Mike Papantonio: It’s called externalizing costs.

Farron Cousins: Right. And it’s actually the dumping mechanism where they would vent these terrible gases that are very dangerous. They kill you, is what they do. That got clogged and blocked up in this refinery. And so it releases a toxic cloud of gas. Four people died. And this happened in 2014, and we’re only now just getting this, you know, horrible resolution to it nine years later. Several years after they went ahead and they just shut down the plant altogether. But four people died and they said, okay, we’re gonna value the lives of these people, $3 million a piece, $12 million. That’s it.

Mike Papantonio: Same company, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and I tried a case up in West Virginia, in Spelter, West Virginia. DuPont, the same company, had created a monstrous mountain. The mountain was nothing but toxins. It went, the mountain was about 50 feet high, almost a quarter of a mile in length. The toxins from there were moving into this city and causing all kinds of cancers. Okay. We had all the documents on ’em, we showed the government what they had done. Any other person would be in prison. But DuPont walked. Now, Bobby Kennedy and I, we hit ’em for $395,000,000. That’s nothing’s. It’s a drop in the bucket for DuPont because they probably saved a billion dollars. But the point is, until government says it’s not okay, you gotta look at it like these are people, and if people did this to their neighbors, they’re going to prison. Why can’t we say the same thing about the corporation? That’s why, you know, as you probably know, I’m a huge supporter of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for president, because this is what he believes. I’ve known him for 25 years. We’ve tried cases together, we’ve done TV together, we’ve done radio together. He’s a dear friend. But he believes we need to hold corporate America responsible. What the hell’s wrong with that? I don’t know.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.