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DuPont Co. and Chemours Agree to Resolve Legal Disputes

Dupont Co. and its spin-off Chemours have agreed to resolve legal disputes over environmental liability for chemical-related pollution linked to an increased risk of cancer and other health problems.

The mandatory MOU was announced just over a month after the Delaware Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit, according to which DuPont had severely downplayed the cost of environmental liabilities placed on Chemours when DuPont separated its suitor in 2015. former specialty chemicals unit.

The chemicals in question are known as perfluoroalkyls and polyfluoroalkyls (PFAS). They include perfluorooctanoic acid (APFO), formerly used in the production of Teflon and now in fire-fighting foam, water-repellent clothing, and many other household and personal items. They are sometimes described as “eternal chemicals” because of their longevity in the environment.

The memorandum resolves legal disputes arising from the company’s diversion and establishes a cost-sharing agreement and a guarantee account for a possible future legacy of PFAS liabilities resulting from proceeding prior to July 1, 2015.

DuPont, Chemours and Corteva, an independent publicly traded company that was the agricultural division of DowDuPont, also agreed to resolve about 95 pending cases, as well as other unreported issues, in the multi-district PFOA litigation in Ohio.

The $ 83 million deal will be divided almost evenly between the three companies. It does not include a case that resulted in a $ 50 million jury verdict in March in which DuPont appealed.

Ohio’s verdict stemmed from a class action lawsuit involving some 80,000 Ohioans and West Virginia residents who drank water contaminated with chemical discharges from Dupont’s Washington Works facility near Parkersburg, West Virginia.

More than 3,500 individual plaintiffs who suffered from one of the six PFOA-related illnesses took their personal injury cases against DuPont. Those cases are centralized in federal court in Ohio.

After three trials in which juries returned verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs, DuPont agreed in 2017 to settle the remaining just over 3,500 cases.