FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
RALEIGH, N.C.— A U.S. District Court judge today ordered Chemours to comply with its obligations to allow outside testing of potentially contaminated water as part of discovery in the lawsuit filed on behalf of North Carolina residents harmed by Chemours’ systemic dumping of the toxic chemical GenX into the Cape Fear River. For months, Chemours has stalled in fulfilling basic discovery requirements in an attempt to undermine plaintiffs’ case. Today’s ruling resolved ongoing disputes regarding discovery and will allow the case to proceed.
“The first step in holding Chemours accountable to the people of North Carolina is holding them accountable to the legal process,” said Ted Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “We’re pleased that the judge is ensuring accurate and transparent testing of drinking water and putting a stop to Chemours’ stonewalling. This company has spent decades operating in the dark and misleading the people of North Carolina—and today’s ruling is an important step to holding them accountable under the law.”
The class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of North Carolina residents living along the Cape Fear River alleges that Chemours disregarded internal test results while illegally dumping hazardous chemicals into the river and then misled government regulators about its conduct. Researchers have revealed that GenX is far more toxic than originally thought, may even be airborne and is known to cause cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Nonetheless, Chemours is pressing regulators to raise the allowable amount of GenX in the Cape Fear River from the current limit of 140 ppt.
Chemours (and parent company DuPont) has a documented history of manipulating state regulators into raising toxicity limits to justify its practices. For example, in a case brought by cattle farmer William Tennant in the late 1990’s, it was revealed that DuPont attempted to manipulate a state agency into declaring that the safe limit of another toxic chemical, C8, was higher than DuPont’s detected emissions.
Additional information on the Cape Fear lawsuit is available here.
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