DuPont forced to pay for smelter pollution
Massive exposed waste pile costs chemical firm DuPont Co. big money.
CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Chemical maker DuPont Co. will pay US$70 million and fund long-term medical monitoring for residents of a West Virginia town who sued over pollution from a zinc smelter and its 100-foot-tall pile of waste.
A state judge approved the settlement Tuesday that ends years of court battles by residents of Spelter against Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont. The zinc smelter closed in 2001 after operating for 90 years.
The settlement was reached last year by DuPont and lawyers representing 8,500 current and former residents. It would wipe out a $196 million punitive damage award DuPont has been fighting.
A jury in 2007 found DuPont deliberately downplayed and lied about possible health threats.
The $70 million is to cover payments to plaintiffs, legal fees, cleanup costs and other expenses.
© 2011 The Canadian Press