DuPont and Chemours reach settlement of lawsuits for $670.7 million

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In a recent release the company has informed that DuPont and plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Ohio multi-district litigation (MDL) have jointly agreed to a settlement in principle of the MDL involving about 3,550 lawsuits related to PFOA personal injury claims arising from environmental releases of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts) from the Washington Works plant in West Virginia. The total settlement amount is $670.7 million in cash, half of which will be paid by Chemours and half paid by DuPont. However the release has mentioned that both the companies denied any wrongdoing.

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Figure: The Ohio River, as per the court the river water has been contaminated by C8 from a nearby DuPont factory.

To address potential PFOA liabilities that might arise in the future, Chemours and DuPont have agreed that, for a period of five years, Chemours would annually pay PFOA liabilities outside the settlement up to $25 million and, that if such amount is exceeded, DuPont would pay any excess liabilities up to the next $25 million, with Chemours annually paying any further excess liabilities. After the five-year period, Chemours indemnification obligations under the Separation Agreement continue unchanged and DuPont has no commitment to fund PFOA costs. Chemours has also agreed, that upon the settlement becoming effective, it will not contest its liability to DuPont under the separation agreement for PFOA costs on the basis of ostensible defenses Chemours believes are generally applicable to the indemnification provisions under the Separation Agreement, including that such costs relate to punitive damages, fines or penalties or attorneys’ fees for the same, but has retained defenses as to whether any particular PFOA claim is within the scope of the indemnification provisions of the Separation Agreement.

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