By PAMELA BRUST
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
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
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
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.