"The 'injury' required to prove a medical monitoring claim is a 'significantly increased risk of contracting a particular disease relative to what would be the case in the absence of exposure,'" Keenan wrote. "A plaintiff seeking medical monitoring as an element of damages for a traditional common law tort must still prove the required elements of that tort to obtain medical monitoring relief."
C8 is another name for ammonium perfluorooctanoate, or PFOA. DuPont used the chemical for decades at its Washington Works plant south of Parkersburg. C8 is a processing agent used to make Teflon and other nonstick products, oil-resistant paper packaging and stain-resistant textiles.
Evidence is mounting about C8's harmful effects, but federal regulatory agencies have yet to set a safe standard for emissions or human exposure.
In September 2004, DuPont agreed to a $107.6 million settlement with residents of communities around Parkersburg. The money is funding two major studies of C8's impacts, and DuPont also installed water treatment systems for those communities.
At the time of that settlement, C8 had not been found in the Parkersburg city water. Later, C8 was detected there and a follow-up case was filed. The previous suit was in state court, but the follow-up case was in federal court because of a 2005 law that mandated proposed class actions involving significant amounts of money or parties from different states be in federal courts.
In New Jersey, a federal judge has allowed two similar cases against DuPont to proceed, and the company agreed to an $8.3 million settlement that will fund water filters for residents near the DuPont Chambers Workers plant.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.