We were originally contacted by a family who was raising cattle and who had several hundred head of cattle that were getting sick or dying after drinking water from a creek coming from a landfill owned by the DuPont company. They’re found in the blood of people in Oatman, Arizona, and they’re found in the blood of people in Fargo, [North] Dakota," Ruffalo told Congress last week. (MORE: Mark Ruffalo says new film is about 'one of the greatest cover-ups' in history), Bailey said he was born with just one nostril as well as a "serrated eyelid" on the right eye. Maison de la Paix Tweet on Twitter. His story, one of an underdog lawyer who took on the chemical giant DuPont on behalf of people like Bailey, is now the subject of the new film "Dark Waters.". But now, the 38-year-old is married with two kids. F: +46-(0)8-70 20 338, Geneva office: It wouldn't surprise anyone that a lawyer dogged as Bilott is continuing the same work. Bilott was bestowed the Right Livelihood Award in 2017 for “exposing a decades-long history of chemical pollution, winning long-sought justice for the victims, and setting a precedent for effective regulation on hazardous substances.”, Robert Bilott in Stockholm 12/ 2017. (MORE: Navy researchers hopeful new firefighting foams will reduce health risks)Bilott did not stop with the Tennant lawsuit. Todd Haynes’ new film Dark Waters wades into some of the most complicated topics in public health, chemistry, and the law to dramatize the story of environmental attorney Robert Bilott … All Rights Reserved. Robert was going to bar in 1990 and started his law practice from Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in his hometown. Bilott has recently published a book, titled Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle Against DuPont‘ detailing his long fight for justice. The company added that it's eliminating the use of all PFOAS-based firefighting foams and that it supports "innovative PFOAS remediation technologies.". "By the early 1980s, they'd even set their own internal standards of what's safe, even though the government regulators didn't know about it. Could this model be applied to similar cases of toxic pollution? Stockholmsvägen 23 Hopefully, people can use that same model for additional chemicals found in other locations. It transcends politics.". I want peace of mind," Bailey said. When we first saw a reference to the chemical PFOA, I asked for more documents about that chemical. "Who is paying for this failure to act? Todd Haynes and Mark Ruffalo Tackle Environmentalism in ‘Dry Run’ Nobody in the community had been told that this chemical was in their water. Each of the first three trials resulted in a verdict against DuPont for causing someone’s cancer. There's a problem loading this menu right now. The first time we discovered that PFOA was in the drinking water and alerted DuPont that we were aware of that was in the summer of 2000. "It's being found in drinking water all over the country," Bilott said. You know, somebody like that standing up can take on even the biggest powers against him in the community. We used $70 million received in the class action settlement from DuPont to pay people to come in and have their blood drawn, and to have questionnaires filled out so that there would be sufficient data for the independent scientists to look at, and ended up having 69,000 people tested. "I don't want money. "It's more like peripheral vision the entire time." During the fourth trial in early 2017, both sides agreed to resolve all of 3,500 cases for $670.7 million, and everybody in the class who was exposed will get free medical testing in the future, paid for by DuPont, up to an additional $235 million. Through an innovative science-based settlement off the court case, a series of massive human health studies were conducted over 7years, including epidemiological studies of over 69,000 of the victims, which contributed significantly to the scientific understanding of the global health risks associated with PFOA and the broader class of related Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). (MORE: FDA tests highlight rising concerns about potentially harmful chemicals in food)Without admitting wrongdoing, DuPont settled the class action lawsuit for $70 million, part of which funded a scientific study that eventually found a probable link between PFOA and diseases like testicular cancer, kidney cancer and thyroid disease -- a disease that Bucky Bailey's mother now suffers from. The independent Science Panel ended up finding probable links with testicular cancer, kidney cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, preeclampsia, and high cholesterol. Used to manufacture high-performance plastics that are then made into numerous modern everyday devices, improperly disposed sludge laced with the toxic compound risked the health and safety of thousands. ", Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Lawsuit Filed Against Kentucky Gov. Robert Bilott, a Cincinnati attorney who took on DuPont for contaminating water with toxic forever chemicals, is portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in “Dark Waters,” which premiered here last week. Meet Robert Bilott, environment lawyer who won 19-year-long legal battle against DuPont. (MORE: Potentially harmful chemical found in drinking water for 7.5 million people: Report), (MORE: Navy researchers hopeful new firefighting foams will reduce health risks), (MORE: FDA tests highlight rising concerns about potentially harmful chemicals in food). Mark Ruffalo, the man behind the Marvel superhero the Hulk, is taking a new battle to Capitol Hill: sounding the alarm about harmful man-made compounds known as "forever chemicals. "I want other people to have hope and faith that they can take a shower, they can take a drink of water from their water source and [that will] be clean water, and they can lay their children on the carpet. Bilott achieved a class-action settlement with DuPont in 2004, part of which paid for a six-year health study. Thus, Bilott’s work has also been a contributing factor to current plans both by the UN and on a European-level to restrict and phase out the use of PFAS. In 2018, Bilott filed a new case seeking to represent a class of everyone in the United States with PFAS chemicals in their blood, in which he is asking a federal court to order the companies that make PFAS to pay for independent scientific studies and testing, on a national scale, related to disease caused by the mix of PFAS chemicals humans are exposed to. ", In a statement to ABC News, DuPont said it does "not make the chemicals in question" and "agrees that further action needs to be taken." Bilott launched a class action lawsuit after alerting the EPA in 2001 that "DuPont continues to release an essentially unregulated, confirmed animal carcinogen" into the air, land and water, making the residents of Parkersburg sick. But it became clear that, yeah, you know, this was a chemical that was known to be toxic.". …Dry Run is based on a harrowing true story, centering on Nathaniel Rich’s New York Times Magazine article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.” The film will follow the efforts of corporate defense attorney Robert Bilott to bring an environmental lawsuit against chemical company DuPont. Bilott eventually discovered a massive history of chemical pollution involving perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. Used to manufacture high-performance plastics that are then made into numerous modern everyday devices, improperly disposed sludge laced with the toxic compound risked the health and safety of thousands. Twenty years later, people today are still fighting and still getting diagnosed with cancer, Bilott said. Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Unfortunately, the process of the regulatory world moves slowly, which is why we had to push the issue through private litigation, with testing and studies in the meantime, and why we ended up doing this independent Science Panel process. That class action lawsuit grew to include 70,000 people, who for years had been wondering what was causing the health problems all around them. The harmful effects of PFOA and its impact on the community in Parkersburg, West Virginia, may have never come to light if it wasn't for one attorney who decided to take the chemical company head-on in a 20-year legal battle.