NEW YORK, July 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Douglas & London partner Gary Douglas served as co-trial counsel with Mike Papantonio of the Levin Papantonio law firm and Rob Bilott of the Taft law firm, and together they secured a $5.6 million damages verdict against DuPont for dumping C8 into the drinking water and causing David Freeman's testicular cancer. This verdict includes punitive damages after the jury found that DuPont acted with a conscious disregard.
In his opening statement during the punitive damages phase of the trial, Douglas argued to the jury:
"I want you, when you think about this case and render an amount that will deter DuPont and others so that they will hear what you have to say...I want you to think about Lady Justice. It's an iconic symbol of justice and how we dispense justice here in America and society. You've already balanced the scales of justice in the first phase of this trial. ... You've already balanced the scales in awarding compensation to Mr. Freeman for his actual physical and emotional distress. But it's time now in this punitive phase to wield that mighty sword as a deterrent, as a powerful deterrent.... We're going to ask you to wield that sword. Because if you don't, folks, if you don't wield that sword, who will? You've made this determination, this profound determination after hearing weeks and weeks of testimony that there was actual malice."
As Douglas says: "the jury sent DuPont a message loud and clear. DuPont has acted with impunity for more than 50 years while they quietly dumped millions and millions of pounds of cancer causing C8 into the Ohio River and the drinking water of the unsuspecting men woman and children from communities along the Ohio River Valley to whom they referred in internal documents to as "human receptors." Even after one of the largest fines in EPA history DuPont continued to act with impunity. ... Only a significant punitive damage verdict would be effective in getting DuPont's attention. This jury unanimously agreed."
Michael London, who serves as co-lead counsel overseeing the 3,500 related C-8 cases, adds: "Hopefully, DuPont will listen to what two juries have now unanimously told it - that it is responsible for cancers caused by its dumping of C8 poison into the Ohio River and these communities' drinking water. For too long, DuPont has avoided taking any responsibility for its actions and has denied appropriate redress to these thousands of innocent victims. DuPont needs to step up and finally do the right thing to make amends for its callous and reckless behavior. Indeed, as we continue in our pursuit of obtaining justice for these individuals, we continue to uncover more incriminating evidence against DuPont and continue to try these cases if DuPont remains unwilling to be accountable for their conduct."
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SOURCE Douglas & London, P.C.