05 January 2011 20:44 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A state court approved a settlement agreement in which DuPont will pay $70m (€53m) to resolve a class-action lawsuit at its former zinc-smelter site in Spelter, West Virginia, the US chemical major said on Wednesday.
Circuit Judge Thomas Bedell issued the order approving the settlement in the circuit court of Harrison County in West Virginia.
People living near the site at Spelter had argued they were exposed to lead, cadmium and arsenic.
The two sides reached the settlement late in 2010.
Under it, DuPont would pay for clean-up costs and other costs and expenses associated with the litigation.
In addition, the settlement established a limited medical monitoring programme, in which DuPont agreed to provide periodic medical testing and medical check-ups to class members for a period of 30 years to test for any possible effects from the Spelter facility, the company said.
“The settlement approved by Judge Bedell enables DuPont to place its focus on the Spelter site and the community and not on lengthy and contentious legal proceedings," DuPont said in a statement.
"While we have not operated this facility for over 60 years, we are pleased to resolve this matter in a reasonable and productive manner and will work with the court and its designees to execute the terms of the settlement," the company said.
"We are confident that this settlement will provide more than sufficient funds to clean up properties and for medical monitoring and will permit people in the community to move forward confidently and securely in their lives," DuPont said.
DuPont sold the Spelter site in 1950 but later assumed responsibility for the environmental clean-up of the site. That project was completed in 2006.
($1 = €0.75)
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