Friday, May 16, 2003
"DuPont to fight release of results about employee blood tests"
2003-05-16 by Callie Lyons from "MariettaTimes.com" [http://www.ohiocitizen.org/campaigns/dupont_c8/blood_tests.htm]:
DuPont officials announced their intention Thursday to file a motion with the Wood County Circuit Court to protect the medical records of plant employees who have participated in a voluntary program to test the presence of C8 in their blood.
It's the latest development in the class action lawsuit against DuPont regarding the chemical known as C8 or PFOA and its presence in local water supplies.
"DuPont has made, and will continue to make, every effort to protect the confidentiality of the medical records of our employees," said Washington Works Plant Manager Paul Bossert in a statement released Thursday. "Prior to the filing of this motion, we had told the plaintiffs' attorneys that we wanted them to delay filing to give us time to notify our employees involved. By taking today's action the plaintiffs' attorneys have ignored our request."
Attorney Robert Billott, representing the class of plaintiffs, said in a telephone interview Thursday that after DuPont repeatedly failed to turn the records over, the attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel the production of the evidence.
"We had offered to sign a protective order to address confidentiality concerns," Billott said. "They refused to turn over the documents."
The formal request for the release of the medical records for every plant worker with C8 in their blood was served on March 13, Billott said. An extension was granted on April 28.
DuPont attorneys have described the request as "overboard and unreasonable" and stated that "DuPont will not betray its employees' confidences by producing this private information in light of plaintiffsâ lack of justification for this expansive and intrusive request."
The statement issued by DuPont said the testing was part of the industrial hygiene program that identified employees who have worked in the area of the plant where C8 is handled and used. DuPont maintains that in more than 50 years of use of the manufacturing chemical there have been no observed adverse human health effects associated with C8 exposure.
Billott said he wants to see the medical records to back up their claims.