The first personal injury case to be tried over testicular cancer resulting from Mid-Ohio Valley C8 exposure went to the jury this week – and the Columbus jury quickly returned a verdict of $5.1 million in compensatory damages for victim David Freeman.
Referred to as a “bellweather” case, the outcome of this testicular cancer personal injury claim will set a precedent for similar cases filed against DuPont. Last fall, the first such kidney cancer claim went before a jury- who awarded the plaintiff $1.6 million.
Today’s decision for Freeman does not include punitive damages.
“Also the jury found that DuPont’s conduct was malicious. That finding means that the jury will return tomorrow to commence a trial which will determine what amount of punitive damages should be awarded,” said Attorney Harry Deitzler.
Deitzler is a member of the team of attorneys who represented the class in a suit against DuPont over the contamination of drinking water. As a condition of that class action settlement agreement, a science panel was charged with determining what diseases could be linked to C8 exposure. Their findings indicated that there were six human health conditions linked to C8 exposure in Mid-Ohio Valley residents: kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pre-eclampsia, and high cholesterol. MOV residents who drank the contaminated water and developed one or more of these diseases are eligible to file a personal injury claim against DuPont.
The 2004 Leach vs. DuPont class action settlement pertains to people who worked or lived in one of the impacted water districts and consumed the water there for more than a year. The water districts include: Belpre, Lubeck WV, Little Hocking, Pomeroy, Tuppers Plains, and Mason County WV.
Members of the class are also entitled to free medical screenings to determine how much C8 is in their blood and if they have developed any of the related conditions.