Following threats last month of legal action from the North Carolina government, Chemours and now DuPont face a “billion-dollar” class action lawsuit from a resident of the Tar Heel state over the alleged discharge of “toxic chemicals" into a river.
“From 1980 to the present ... Defendants willfully and wantonly, recklessly, and negligently discharged toxic chemicals into the Cape Fear River, all while concealing their conduct and its dangerous impacts on human health and life,” court documents allege.
Chemours was a former DuPont unit that was spun out as an independent company in 2015. As part of the separation agreement, Chemours assumed control of a Fayetteville, North Carolina, facility, which sits about a mile from the Cape Fear River.
It produces chemicals, such as GenX, which is used in the manufacturing of Chemours' Teflon.
The plaintiff, Victoria Carey, claims her drinking water recently was tested and found to have elevated levels of GenX and “other poisonous substances,” according to a statement emailed by her attorneys on Tuesday.
“She says the companies’ decades-long toxic dumping has endangered the lives and health of residents and seriously affected their properties and property values,” the statement read.
Carey’s attorney, Ted Leopold, said he is seeking “in excess of a billion dollars” from the companies.
“I intend to litigate it, vigorously,” said Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.
He also is representing residents of Flint, Michigan, in a separate class action brought against state officials there, after high levels of lead were found in the city’s drinking water.