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Judge Approves $70 Million for Medical Monitoring in DuPont Smelter Lawsuit

This is a settlement for the Environment Law lawsuit.

Charleston, WV: Harrison County circuit judge Thomas A. Bedell, has approved a $150 million lawsuit settlement that requires DuPont Co. to clean up contamination of the community of Spelter and fund a program to test residents for any illnesses the pollution might have caused. DuPont is alleged to have released cadmium, arsenic and lead from one of its smelters into the community of Spelter, just north of Clarksburg.

The settlement ends the need for another, Supreme Court-ordered trial over whether residents filed their suit within legal time limits. That trial had been set for March 2011.

Under the settlement, DuPont will pay $70 million and fund a 30-year medical monitoring program that is estimated to cost between $65 million and $90 million.

Of that $70 million payment, $4 million is set aside for cash payments for roughly 6,000 former and current residents who do not own property in the area. Some of that $4 million might also be used to kick-start the medical monitoring program. The other $66 million from that $70 million payment is to fund property remediation in the area and to pay the lawyers who represented residents in the case.

Bedell did not rule Tuesday on a request by the residents' lawyers for $30 million in fees and nearly $10 million in expenses. He also did not rule on a dispute between the residents' lawyers and DuPont over the exact mechanism for overseeing the medical monitoring program.

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Published on Jan-5-11


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