On Jan. 22, 2021, DuPont, Corteva, and Chemours announced an agreement to resolve dozens of personal injury cases pending in Ohio multi-district litigation involving contamination of drinking water supplies with PFOA (the Ohio MDL) for $83 million. DuPont will contribute $27 million, Corteva will contribute $27 million, and Chemours will contribute $29 million to the settlement. These cases are in addition to the approximately 3500 personal injury cases that already were settled in the Ohio MDL in 2017 for $670.1 million. Thus, as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in the Ohio MDL, Taft partner Rob Bilott has been successfully able to recover over $753 million in individual damages compensation for those injured by that drinking water contamination, in addition to earlier class-wide benefits, such as medical monitoring, valued at over another $300 million. “We are pleased to be able to resolve these personal injury claims for our clients … in a way that provides compensation without the need for additional lengthy and expensive trials,” said Bilott.
In addition, DuPont, Corteva, and Chemours jointly committed $4 billion to cover liabilities for their past use of PFOA and other per-and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) commonly now known as “forever chemicals.” The arrangement is an update to previous agreements crafted to handle how the companies would allocate liability related to PFAS claims after what used to be known as E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. recently split into the trio of publicly traded companies.
Dubbed by The New York Times Magazine as “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare” in an article published on Jan. 6, 2016, Bilott has represented a diverse array of clients, nationwide, who have been harmed by PFAS substances. His work is the subject of a recent feature film, “Dark Waters,” and the documentary “The Devil We Know,” and is detailed in his book, “Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-year Battle Against DuPont.”
Bilott is a partner in Taft's Environmental, Litigation, and Product Liability and Personal Injury practices.