DuPont and its spin-off companies Chemours and Corteva have reached a $4 billion cost-sharing agreement to resolve liabilities associated with the company’s decades-long use and disbursement of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Dubbed “forever chemicals” due to their persistence in the biosphere, and our bloodstreams, PFAS are man-made chemicals DuPont and other companies use to manufacture nonstick and stain-resistant coatings in cookware, clothing, food packaging, carpets, firefighting foam and other consumer and industrial products. These substances, which have been unleashed worldwide and contaminated waterways and drinking water throughout the globe, have been associated with serious environmental and human health problems, including adverse reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects, along with high cholesterol and obesity.
The announced deal provides that expenses will be shared with DuPont and Corteva covering half and Chemours covering the other half for the next 20 years or when liabilities reach $4 billion. The deal also establishes a $1 billion escrow account to address potential future liabilities related to PFAS contamination.
Separately, DuPont, Corteva and Chemours have also agreed to an $83 million settlement of numerous personal injury claims pending in the Ohio multi-district lawsuit over DuPont’s C-8 contamination of Parkersburg, West Virginia, area waterways. This settlement will resolve approximately 95 pending cases as well as ‘unfiled matters’ in the state, DuPont said. And if anyone is under any illusion that these companies have settled these claims out of any moral obligation for the benefit of the people they permanently damaged while making tens of billions of dollars pumping PFAS contaminants into the environment, look no further than this quote from the joint statement issued by DuPont’s, Corteva’s and Chemours’ CEOs:
‘The agreement will provide a measure of security and certainty for each company and our respective shareholders using a transparent process to address and resolve any potential future legacy PFAS matters,’ said DuPont Chairman and CEO Ed Breen, Corteva CEO Jim Collins, and Chemours President and CEO Mark Vergnano in a joint statement.
Wow! I guess the unwitting victims of DuPont’s nefarious contamination practices should count themselves lucky the life-long impacts they will suffer just happened to align with a drag on these companies’ stock prices this time. Future victims may not be so “fortunate,” however. If you believe you have been injured by exposure to PFAS chemicals, you should contact an experienced law firm, like Bordas & Bordas, right away to explore your rights.