POINT PLEASANT — On Thursday night around 70 people packed the conference room at the Mason County Library to find out if they qualify to file suit for possible financial compensation after being exposed to C8 in their drinking water.
The informational meeting, held by Charleston Attorney Kathy Brown, was standing room only. Brown said the majority of those at this week’s meeting appeared to qualify to file individual personal injury claims against DuPont.
DuPont manufactured the chemical C8, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, which was used in making Teflon. The substance was found to have contaminated several local water supplies, including here in Mason County, affecting customers of the Mason County Public Service District. Other public water sources which were affected include those in Ohio at Belpre, Tuppers Plains, Pomeroy and Little Hocking. Wood County in West Virginia was also affected.
Since the discovery of C8 in these local water supplies in 2002, a C8 Science Panel has linked exposure to the chemical to thyroid disease, ulcerated colitis, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, high cholesterol and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
This is the third town hall style meeting Brown has hosted in the area and this week’s was by far, the most well attended. Having become familiar with those in the area who claim to have been affected by exposure to C8, Brown said thyroid disease seemed to be the most prevalent. She also said it’s amazing observing the amount of people who were exposed across the entire area who now have kidney cancer, saying that type of cancer is typically, rare.
Brown stressed she was not handling a class action suit, but individual claims. She said damages could obviously vary depending on several factors — obviously, someone with kidney cancer may be entitled to more financial compensation than someone with high cholesterol. She said all cases filed in Mason County will be transferred to federal district court where they will be tried, if they make it to trial.
Brown plans to visit the area every couple of months to get the word out about the legal rights of those who were exposed to C8 in their drinking water. As of now, it’s been difficult to reach people who once lived and worked in the area, and drank the water for a year prior to Dec. 3, 2004, but have now moved. For this reason, Brown and her firm have been saturating social media and purchasing advertising to reach those individuals who may be sick now as a result of exposure. Brown said a person would have two years to file from the date they were diagnosed with a disease.
Brown’s law firm has set up a toll free number to take calls from those who feel they may have an individual claim. For more information call 1-866-401-6975.