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[greenyes] Alert 436: Victim of DuPont dioxin awarded 14 million by Mississippi jury


(Now-closed Northern Cali (Antioch) plant had similar emissions. Dioxin-contaminated wastes are bubbling up through roads in Contra Costa county.....)
Green Delaware Alert #436
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Victim of DuPont dioxin pollution awarded $14 million by Mississippi jury
Dioxin from DuPont plant found to have caused cancer
1996 more cases upcoming.....
DuPont's Delaware, Tennessee, Mexican, plants have similar emissions
DuPont is responsible for 3/4 of all reported U.S. Dioxin emissions
Minimal media attention so far.....
August 26, 2005. Today a jury in Laurel, Mississippi awarded Mr. Glen Strong 14 million dollars in damages, deciding that his cancer had been caused by dioxin emissions from DuPont's DeLisle, Mississippi titanium dioxide plant. In addition, the jury awarded Strong's wife 1.5 million for loss of consortium. Additional punitive damages are likely to be awarded next week.

Mike Fenasci, one of the principal lawyers in the case, told Green Delaware that "DuPont has caused the death of many people through the dioxins it created at the DeLisle plant."

Strong, an oyster fisherman, has a relatively rare blood cancer, multiple myeloma. He alleged that his cancer was caused by dioxins from the DuPont plant, which he was exposed to through the air and by eating oysters contaminated by DuPont.

DuPont called no defense witnesses. Earlier, Circuit Judge Billy Joe Landrum had excluded a number of DuPont witnesses, ruling that they had failed to cooperate by "deliberately" avoiding being deposed by Strong's lawyers. These sanctions were upheld by the Supreme Court of Mississippi.

Court-ordered testing by Strong's lawyers, aided by former DuPont employee Glen Evers of Hokessin, Delaware, revealed the presence of the most toxic form of dioxin, "2,3,7,8, TCDD" in various parts of the plant, including vent stacks. Other testing found dioxin, and other contaminants, in oysters in the fishing grounds used by Strong, and in house dust in the area.

Approximately 2000 other DeLisle-area residents are also suing DuPont. Since class-actions are not allowed in Mississippi, DuPont faces 2000 more trials.

Documents obtained by Strong's lawyers revealed that DuPont knew that its plants were generating dioxins years before this information was disclosed, if at all, to regulators and the public.

Detailed trial coverage is in the Biloxi-Gulfport SunHerald (http://www.sunherald.com) and the Sea Coast Echo (http://208.62.60.4/40/).

DuPont operates similar plants in Edgemoor, Delaware; New Johnsonville, Tennessee; Altamira, Mexico; and Taiwan. Another plant, now closed, operated in Antioch, California. According to the Toxics Release Inventory, these plants are by far the largest sources of dioxins in the United States. The longest-operating plant, and historically the highest dioxin-emitter, is the Delaware plant.

It seems likely that if widespread health damage occurred in Mississippi, similar harm was caused to employees and residents in and around the other DuPont "TiO2" plants.

Meanwhile, Delawareans are demanding that DuPont remove a 500,000 ton pile of dioxin-contaminated waste it piled up, without permits, near the Delaware River. DuPont wants to leave the pile in place, claiming it is too dangerous to move. So far, Delaware environmental regulators have sided with DuPont, but local and county governments have passed resolutions calling for removal of the "dioxin pile."

Green Delaware is a community based organization working on environment and public health issues. We try to provide information you can use. Please use it. Do you want to continue receiving information from Green Delaware? Please consider contributing or volunteering. Reach us at 302.834.3466, greendel@no.address, www.greendel.org, Box 69, Port Penn, DE, USA, 19731-0069



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