It appeared on no federal or state list of contaminants. “The thought that DuPont could get away with this for this long,” Bilott says, his tone half-way between wonder and rage, “that they could keep making a profit off it, then get the agreement of the governmental agencies to slowly phase it out, only to replace it with an alternative with unknown human eff ects — we told the agencies about this in 2001, and they’ve essentially done nothing. It did not appear on any list of regulated materials, nor could he find it in Taft’s in-house library. In 2009, the EPA set a “provisional” limit of 0.4 parts per billion for short-term exposure, but has never finalised that figure. His speciality was defending chemical companies. Bilott found the figure “mind-blowing.” The toxicologists he hired had settled upon a safety limit of 0.2 parts per billion. Bilott learned from the documents that 3M and DuPont had been conducting secret medical studies on PFOA for more than four decades. The Environmental Working Group has found manufactured fluorochemicals present in 94 water districts across 27 US states. I’m a firm believer that our work on the plaintiff ’s side makes us better defence lawyers.” Bilott sought help with the Tennant case from a West Virginia lawyer named Larry Winter. “Dark Waters” sheds light on a monumental legal battle led by Bilott and the Taft team against one of the world’s largest corporations. About a week after his phone call, Tennant drove from Parkersburg with his wife to Taft’s headquarters in downtown Cincinnati. At one point, the video cuts to a skinny red cow standing in hay. A plaintiff needs to prove only that he or she has been exposed to a toxin. The firm would receive its contingency fee. Bilott’s strategy appeared to have worked. They had always been like pets to the Tennants. “It was something you could do to make a difference.” When, after graduation, Taft made him an offer, his mentors and friends from New College were aghast. Family drew Amy Adams and Glenn Close to ‘Hillbilly Elegy.’ (Family, and Terminators.). The attacks recurred periodically, bringing blurry vision, slurred speech and diffi culty moving one side of his body. The chemistry expert that he had retained for the case did, however, vaguely recall an article in a trade journal about a similar-sounding compound: PFOS, a soap-like agent used by the technology conglomerate 3M in the fabrication of Scotchgard. It is in your parents’ blood, your children’s blood, your lover’s blood. Kiger had underlined statements that he found particularly baffling, like: “DuPont reports that it has toxicological and epidemiological data to support confidence that exposure guidelines established by DuPont are protective of human health.”. Robert put the case f a farmer whose cattle died due to the millions of tons of chemical had been throwing in this field by DuPont. Through the air, through your diet, through your use of nonstick cookware, through your umbilical cord. If the plaintiff wins, the defendant is required to fund regular medical tests. He’s much quieter. But it was to me.” The same DuPont lawyers tasked with writing the safety limit, Bilott said, had become the government regulators responsible for enforcing that limit. The same creek flowed down to a pasture where the Tennants grazed their cows. He did not have a typical Taft résumé. The risk was too great: Products manufactured with PFOA were an important part of DuPont’s business, worth $1 billion in annual profit. PFOA was not a regulated substance. Though PFOA was not classified by the US government as a hazardous substance, 3M sent DuPont recommendations on how to dispose of it. Review: ‘The Croods: A New Age’ is a sweetly chaotic follow-up, Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds are among the returning voice cast in DreamWorks Animation sequel “The Croods: A New Age.”. I just tried to get the best job I could. “I couldn’t blame the Tennants for getting angry.” With the trial looming, Bilott stumbled upon a letter DuPont had sent to the EPA that mentioned a substance at the landfill with a cryptic name: PFOA. When the Grahams heard in 1998 that Wilbur Tennant was looking for legal help, they remembered Bilott, White’s grandson, who had grown up to become an environmental lawyer. They did not understand, however, that Bilott was not the right kind of environmental lawyer. But they were so afraid that they were willing to roll the dice.” With the Famous Letter, Bilott crossed a line.