By Callie Lyons, firstname.lastname@example.org
DuPont officials announced their intention Thursday to file
a motion with the Wood County Circuit Court to protect the
medical records of plant employees who have participated in a
voluntary program to test the presence of C8 in their blood.
It's the latest development in the class action lawsuit
against DuPont regarding the chemical known as C8 or PFOA and
its presence in local water supplies.
"DuPont has made, and will continue to make, every effort
to protect the confidentiality of the medical records of our
employees," said Washington Works Plant Manager Paul Bossert
in a statement released Thursday. "Prior to the filing of this
motion, we had told the plaintiffs' attorneys that we wanted
them to delay filing to give us time to notify our employees
involved. By taking today's action the plaintiffs' attorneys
have ignored our request."
Attorney Robert Billott, representing the class of
plaintiffs, said in a telephone interview Thursday that after
DuPont repeatedly failed to turn the records over, the
attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel the
production of the evidence.
"We had offered to sign a protective order to address
confidentiality concerns," Billott said. "They refused to turn
over the documents."
The formal request for the release of the medical records
for every plant worker with C8 in their blood was served on
March 13, Billott said. An extension was granted on April 28.
DuPont attorneys have described the request as "overboard
and unreasonable" and stated that "DuPont will not betray its
employees' confidences by producing this private information
in light of plaintiffsâ lack of justification for this
expansive and intrusive request."
The statement issued by DuPont said the testing was part of
the industrial hygiene program that identified employees who
have worked in the area of the plant where C8 is handled and
used. DuPont maintains that in more than 50 years of use of
the manufacturing chemical there have been no observed adverse
human health effects associated with C8 exposure.
Billott said he wants to see the medical records to back up