COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — One of more than 3,500 lawsuits alleging links between people's illnesses and DuPont discharging C8 into drinking water and the Ohio River is heading to trial in federal court this week.
The lawsuits are part of a multidistrict litigation set up in 2013 to handle the suits filed in federal courts in Ohio and West Virginia.
Plaintiffs allege that C8, a chemical used to make Teflon, was dumped into the river from a DuPont plant in West Virginia. DuPont said it didn't consciously disregard risks to nearby residents.
The case heading to trial Tuesday in Columbus against the Delaware-based chemical company alleges David Freeman, 56, of Washington County, got testicular cancer because of C8, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
A science panel determined there was a probable link between C8 exposure and illnesses that include kidney cancer, testicular cancer and thyroid disease.
Freeman's suit, like others, alleges that DuPont knew about the potential toxicity of C8 as early as 1954 and that its researchers concluded it was toxic by at least 1961. Plaintiffs argued that the company didn't tell the public of the hazards until 2012.
DuPont agreed in 2014 to begin phasing out the use of C8.
Freeman's case is among the first few cases to be heard.
In one now under appeal, jurors awarded $1.6 million to a woman who got cancer. A second test case was dismissed after a doctor changed a plaintiff's diagnosis. A third case filed by a West Virginia man was settled, and details weren't disclosed.
After Freeman's case, the judge presiding over the multidistrict litigation will hear two other test cases this year.
In April 2017, approximately 260 cancer suits will be tried next, 40 over a 10-month period each year.