Friday, April 04, 2003
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Group files C8 motion


PARKERSBURG - Plaintiffs have filed a motion seeking partial summary judgment in a pending class-action lawsuit against DuPont Washington Works, asking the court to order medical monitoring expenses for plaintiffs exposed to C8 in their water supplies.

A hearing on the motion has been scheduled for 11 a.m. April 18 in Wood County Circuit Judge George W. Hill's court.

Plaintiffs are seeking the partial summary judgment against DuPont on the plant's alleged liability for medical monitoring claims being sought by plaintiffs.

The pending suit alleges the local DuPont plant knowingly discharged C8 into water supplies in amounts exceeding the plant's own guidelines and information was concealed from the public. Plaintiffs claim C8 exposure has made them ill, including increased risks of cancer and other disease. They are asking for funds from DuPont for medical testing and monitoring for possible health problems as a result of C8 exposure and damages they claim were incurred for alleged injuries and property damage.

The court earlier designated the "class" in the suit as "all persons whose drinking water is or has been contaminated with C8 attributable to releases from DuPont's Washington Works plant." The scope/extent of the monitoring would be determined in later proceedings, according to the motion.

The plaintiff's motion states there is no dispute C8 is "proven to be a hazardous substance," that the class named in the suit has been exposed significantly more so than the rest of the general population, and "as a result of that exposure they developed significant increased risk of contracting serious latent disease."

The plaintiffs' motion notes in March 2002, DuPont agreed to provide and pay for alternative drinking water for anyone whose water contained C8 in concentrations exceeding acceptable levels.

A scientific team set the safety threshold level for water to be 150 parts per billion. There were no area sites tested which had C8 at that level, according to the reported test results.

The plaintiffs have challenged that level.

The motion notes DuPont, in 1987 established an "acceptable" level for C8 in human blood of 500 ppb, and those exceeding 50 percent of that level would be removed from the exposure area.

The motion notes in 1991 Dupont set a community exposure guideline of 1 part per billion in water. A spokesman for DuPont stated for drinking water exposure only, the guideline was three parts per billion.


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