Toward the end of last year, a jury in Ohio reached a verdict in a case involving a man who had developed testicular cancer after drinking water that was contaminated by a DuPont plant nearby. According to an industry news source, the plaintiff lives near the Ohio-West Virginia border in Washington County, where it became apparent several years ago back that the DuPont facility was leaking perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOA or C-8, into the area’s drinking water supply.
After a jury trial, the plaintiff was awarded $2 million for his injuries. Additionally, the report indicates that the jury found “actual malice,” meaning that punitive damages may also be awarded if the jury decides they are appropriate. The punitive damages phase of the trial is slated to move forward later this year. If the plaintiff is successful in obtaining punitive damages against DuPont, it is likely that his award would increase substantially.
This case is the third of its kind holding DuPont responsible for contaminated water in Washington County, Ohio. The other two cases, decided in 2015 and 2016, resulted in $1.6 million and $5.6 million, respectively. The $5.6 million award contained $500,000 in punitive damages. There are 39 more similar cases pending in the Ohio court system.