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Monday, October 12, 2009

New Jersey class action C8 suit can proceed

SALEM COUNTY, NJ — A US District Court judge on October 9 ruled that a class-action lawsuit can proceed against DuPont Co. in southern New Jersey, where some residents are arguing that DuPont has contaminated their drinking water with ammonium perfluorooctanoate, or PFOA (also known as C8), a chemical used to make cookware, according to recent media reports.

The Charleston (WV) Gazette’s political watchdog blog “Sustained Outrage” reported October 9, “Ruling in two different cases against DuPont, US District Judge Renee Marie Bumb allowed residents to pursue claims of private nuisance and strict liability as class-action suits against the chemical giant.”

Attorney Stuart Lieberman, who represents a potential class of 15,000 residents of Penns Grove, Salem County, who live near DuPont’s Chambers Works plant, is quoted in an October 12 KYW Newsradio 1060 Philadelphia report: “People who drank something that they shouldn’t drink, and did so unknowingly, will now have judicial recourse. And, more importantly, they’ll be able to have safer drinking water.”

DuPont told KYW Newsradio that the company is reviewing the judge’s decision.

According to the “Sustained Outrage” blog, this recent action is “quite different from that in a similar West Virginia case, where US District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin has declined to allow residents to proceed as a class and — in a bombshell ruling last week — dismissed all claims against DuPont except for medical monitoring.”

Goodwin was ruling in a case brought by residents of the city of Parkersburg, whose water supply had been polluted with C8, reportedly from DuPont’s nearby Washington Works plant.

To read the KYW Newsradio report, click here.

To read the blog, click here.

For related information, click here or here.