North Carolina residents are suing a chemical manufacturer who they say intentionally dumped dangerous chemicals into their drinking water.
A consolidated complaint filed Jan. 31 on behalf of several residents living in the Cape Fear river basin says that the Chemours Company, a division of DuPont, knowingly put cancer-causing chemicals into the Cape Fear River and lied about it to government regulators.
“It wasn’t until recently that full-disclosure by Chemours and DuPont came out,” Theodore Leopold, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs said. “That really kick started all of this.”
The residents’ lawyers argue that the company put the chemical GenX into the waterway, despite having conducted studies which showed that the chemical caused cancer, liver disease, thyroid disease, ulcers and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
In addition, the allegation said the company did so “simply to avoid the expense of taking safety precautions.”
The companies’ lawyers could not be reached for comment, but they have asked the judge for a dismissal, claiming the plaintiffs have not shown proof of lasting damage caused by the companies’ actions.
The defense is expected to respond to the Jan. 31 complaint later this month or in early March.
Meanwhile the two sides are currently working to finalize protocol for testing water at the Chemours facility. Leopold said active litigation is expected to begin “in the near future.”
“[We want our clients] to be provided a full-measure of justice for the harm that has been done to them, and to ensure that there’s clean water going into the future,” Leopold said.