Ohio Federal Court Upholds $1.6 Million C-8 Wrongful Death Jury Verdict
In another development in the ongoing ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) multidistrict litigation, a federal trial court in Ohio upheld an October 2015 jury verdict against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (“DuPont”). Bartlett v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., No. 2:13-CV-170 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 17, 2016). The case was the first to go to trial of the more than 3,500 personal injury or wrongful death suits in the C-8 multidistrict litigation.
A jury awarded $1.6 million in compensatory damages to a plaintiff who alleged that her kidney cancer was caused by C-8 in groundwater around a DuPont plant in West Virginia. The court upheld the jury’s verdict of $1.1 million for negligence and $500,000 for negligent infliction of serious emotional distress. The court found that the verdict was supported by substantial probative evidence and denied DuPont’s motion for judgment as a matter of law. The Court also found that the jury verdict was reasonable given the evidence at hand and that the award was not excessive under Ohio law, denying DuPont’s requests for a new trial and remittitur (reduction or dismissal of the verdict award).