Taft Stettinius & Hollister is proud to announce that Robert A. Bilott was named a laureate of the 2017 Right Livelihood Award, an award widely referred to as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” He received the honorary award for “exposing a decades-long history of chemical pollution, winning long-sought justice for the victims, and setting a precedent for effective regulation on hazardous substances.” Bilott and three other laureates were recognized on Sept. 26 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Bilott hopes that “this honor helps spread awareness and recognition of the urgent need to take further steps to protect our drinking water, and the ability and power of local residents and communities to ensure that such steps are taken.” Bilott, who serves as co-lead counsel for the plaintiff’s altering committee handling litigation against DuPont, has been in the spotlight since The New York Times Magazine dubbed him “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” in an article published on Jan. 6, 2016. On Feb. 13, 2017, DuPont publicly disclosed that it has reached a settlement in principle to resolve the C-8 personal injury, multi-district litigation now pending in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, for $670.7 million.
Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, noted that this year’s laureates “protect the rights and lives of citizens across three continents. With their courageous work for human rights, public health and good governance, they tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges at their very core. At a time of alarming setbacks for democracy, their successes show us the way forward towards a just, peaceful and sustainable world for all.”
Bilott is a member of Taft’s Environmental, Litigation and Product Liability and Personal Injury groups. He represents a diverse range of clients on a wide variety of matters involving federal, state and local environmental laws and related litigation.
About the Right Livelihood Award
The Right Livelihood Award is not an award for the world’s political, scientific or economic elite, but an award for the people and their work and struggles for a better future. The Right Livelihood Award accepts proposals from everyone through an open nomination process.
The award is named after the Buddhist concept of Right Livelihood, which encourages people to make their living in an ethical way that respects other people and the natural world. In addition to presenting the annual award, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation actively supports the work of its Laureates, including protecting those whose life and liberty has been put at risk by their efforts.
Previous Laureates include high-profile US whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg, British journalist Alan Rusbridger, the newspaper Cumhuriyet (Turkey), environmentalist Vandana Shiva (India), human rights activists Bianca Jagger (Nicaragua), Jacqueline Moudeina (Chad), Dr Denis Mukwege (DR Congo) and Martín Almada (Paraguay), as well as Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindgren.