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An Ohio federal court jury recently awarded $10.5 million in punitive damages to a man who said DuPont's chemical caused his cancer. Plaintiff alleged his drinking water was contaminated by C8, a chemical used to make Teflon, from smokestack emissions at DuPont’s Washington Works plant. The particles allegedly settled on the Little Hocking Water Association well fields, eventually contaminating the water supply.
The jury determined DuPont acted maliciously because it knew in the 1960s that C8, or perfluorooctanoic acid, was toxic and a cancer risk, but DuPont said nothing about it until publicly forced to do so by lawsuits and regulators. The jury had already awarded Plaintiff $2 million in compensatory damages.
This case is the third DuPont C8 cancer case tried to verdict in Ohio, and the total damages award is the largest thus far. There are over 3,400 lawsuits pending against DuPont over the contamination. C8 no longer is used to make Teflon.