ordered to pay $5.1 million in trial over Teflon-making chemical
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[July 07, 2016]
By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. jury on
Wednesday ordered DuPont to pay $5.1 million to a man who said he
developed testicular cancer from exposure to a toxic chemical used to
make Teflon at one of its plants, according to a DuPont spokesman.
It is the second time jurors in Ohio federal court have found
against DuPont, which is facing more than 3,400 lawsuits from
residents who say they contracted one of six diseases linked to
perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA or C-8, which is used to make
products such as Teflon non-stick cookware.
Following a five-week trial, jurors deliberated for less than a day
before finding DuPont was negligent and awarding $5.1 million in
compensatory damages to David Freeman, an Ohio resident who said he
developed testicular cancer from his exposure to C-8 in drinking
The jury also decided that DuPont had acted with actual malice, a
finding that exposes the company to punitive damages, the amount of
which will be determined at a proceeding starting Thursday.
A DuPont spokesman declined to comment. While DuPont is the named
defendant, a recent spin-off of its performance chemicals segment,
Chemours Co, will cover its liability.
A spokeswoman for Chemours, Cynthia Salitsky, said the verdict will
be appealed. To the extent DuPont claims indemnification for the
verdict, "Chemours retains its defenses to such claims," she said in
Lawyers for Freeman did not immediately return a request for
comment. The trial was a so-called bellwether, the verdict of which
is intended to help the companies and plaintiffs value remaining
cases alleging similar facts.
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The first trial over C-8 exposure resulted in a $1.6 million verdict
and no punitive damages last year.
Chemours shares closed down 22.5 percent at $5.93 in heavy volume.
DuPont shares ended down 1.8 percent at $61.85 per share.
(Reporting by Jessica Dye; Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf;
Editing by Chris Reese)
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