C8 illness lawsuit likely going to jury next week in Ohio


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former spokeswoman for DuPont’s Ohio River plant in West Virginia testified she never knew of any concerns about a chemical dumped into the river when she was telling residents the water was safe to drink.

Dawn Jackson took the stand Friday in a federal court in Columbus in one of the 3,500 lawsuits alleging a link between illnesses and the company discharging the chemical C8 into the Ohio River.

The case against the Delaware-based chemical company alleges a Washington County man got testicular cancer because of C8, a chemical used to make Teflon.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations in the coming week, The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/290lsBG ) reported

Jackson testified she wasn’t told that the company that made C8 for DuPont warned that it was a “possible” human carcinogen.

An attorney for the man who filed the suit showed Jackson internal company documents and memos about concerns with the C8, many of which she said she had never seen before.

Jackson said she was surprised to learn that a health study had concluded in 2012 that there was a “probable” link between C8 and several cancers.

“I believed the information I received. I believed there was no harm,” she said.

The plant dumped as much as 55,000 pounds of C8 into the river each year that made its way into the drinking water, The Dispatch reported.

Earlier in the week, Anthony Playtis, who spent years overseeing testing and monitoring of workers at the DuPont plant, testified that blood tests of plant workers were below the company’s acceptable exposure limit.

“I never believed the amount of C8 would cause injury,” said Playtis, 69, a former occupational health coordinator who lives three miles from the plant with his family and still drinks the tap water.

The case against the Delaware-based chemical company alleges that David Freeman, of Washington County, got testicular cancer because of C8. Freeman, 56, contended in the lawsuit that residents along the river suffered from C8 in tainted drinking water, which he blamed for his sickness.

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.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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