Dupont: Responsible Company Or Polluter? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/18/05

Dupont: Responsible Company Or Polluter?

The Dupont plant in Delisle makes titanium dioxide and dioxin is a by-product of the process. Glen Strong's attorney says the dioxin made Strong sick. "Dioxin and dioxin like compounds from Dupont's Delisle plant entered into Glen Strong's body and substantially contributed to his cancer, multiple myeloma," says attorney Al Stewart.

Stewart says Dupont is the single largest dioxin producer in the country. "The Dupont Delisle plant produces more than 63,000 times more dioxin than the second largest dioxin producer in Harrison or Hancock County."

 Glen Strong blames Dupont for polluting the air and contaminating oysters he ate from the Bay of St. Louis. Attorney Al Hopkins told the jury, "He enjoyed eating those oysters and the fish and the shrimp of the bay and living in the bay where he grew up but all of that because of the contamination has led to this cancer."

Dupont's attorneys say dioxins are everywhere and there is no proof that the plant's dioxin gave Strong cancer. They say there is no known cause of multiple myeloma. Attorney Debbie Kuchler says, "The only witnesses who will say that multiple myeloma can be caused by dioxins are the paid witnesses that the plaintiff lawyers hired to speak in this case."

 Dupont says it will show the oysters Stong ate are safe. Strong is a long time smoker and Dupont's lawyers say his choice to smoke put his health at risk. "He made some bad choices with respect to smoking cigarettes. He smoked cigarettes for many many years, a pack a day sometimes even more even though his doctor repeatedly told him to stop. This is gonna be important in this case because we've already seen cigarette smoke contains dioxins," says Kuchler.

 Kuchler says they will show that Dupont is a responsible, highly regulated company. The jury will decide.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.  Strong is asking for monetary damages to be determined by the jury.

Marcia Hill

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