When non-stick cookware such as Teflon pans were born, they were praised as one of the greatest inventions of our age for cooking convenience. No longer did we have to struggle to clean burnt eggs and other foods from our frying pans, thanks to DuPont and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA a/k/a C8). C8 is a chemical and one of the main ingredients in creating the non-stick surfaces on our pans that so many of us craved. It has also been used in microwave popcorn bags and water proof materials such as Gore-Tex. DuPont's c8 production became so prevalent, that increasing amounts were reportedly leaked from its West Virginia plant into our air and the surrounding waters.
Consequently, Carla Bartlett brought one of approximately 3,500 claims against DuPont for alleged C8 related illness. Studies have reportedly linked C8 to a multiplicity of diseases and illnesses including but not limited to, kidney disease, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, testicular cancer, high cholesterol and pregnancy induced hypertension. Today approximately 99% of all Americans are said to have C8 in their blood. Bartlett essentially claimed that DuPont contaminated her water supply by dumping C8 into the Ohio River and that as a result she developed a cancerous tumor on her kidney.
Defense counsel for DuPont argued that Bartlett had the cancerous tumor surgically removed in 1997 and has been cancer free ever since without having to go through chemotherapy. Further that, “Just because C8 is capable of causing cancer doesn’t mean it did.” The jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, returned an award in the amount of 1.6 Million Dollars in favor of plaintiff Carla Bartlett and against DuPont.
This is the first decision rendered in the vast pool of C8 cases against DuPont and has potentially opened the proverbial legal flood gates. If the Bartlett decision is any indication of what is to come, DuPont stands to lose hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. Perhaps people are starting to realize that trading health for convenience, is a trade that is not worth making.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.