West Virginia Judge: No Group Lawsuit against DuPont over Water

October 3, 2008

Thousands of people in West Virginia who drank water contaminated with a chemical used to make Teflon can sue DuPont individually, but a judge says they cannot act as a group.

U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ruled against a class-action lawsuit on Sept. 30, saying the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate they share common injuries from exposure to C8.

Goodwin says the people who drank tainted Parkersburg city water presented compelling evidence that C8 might harm their health.

But Goodwin says he can’t certify a class based on potential harm. The plaintiffs must prove specific injury to each proposed class member.

Delaware-based DuPont has used C8 since the 1950s at its Washington Works plant south of Parkersburg. It’s used to make Teflon and other nonstick products.


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