West Virginia Supreme Court Hears DuPont’s Pitch for Appeal

September 25, 2008

In a case that’s caught the eye of Gov. Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s Supreme Court is being asked to accept an appeal of a nearly $400 million judgment against chemical giant DuPont.

A Harrison County jury found that DuPont spent decades downplaying and lying about health threats at a former zinc smelting plant in Spelter, W.Va.

The damage awards include $130 million to fund a 40-year health screen program for area residents. Another $196 million is meant to punish DuPont for its conduct.

Manchin urged the justices over the summer to accept the appeal. He argued that all punitive damage awards merit review. That move prompted an outcry by the plaintiffs and their lawyers, and made national headlines.

The case was scheduled on Sept. 24 Supreme Court docket.

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