Greetings from Charleston! This is my report from the DuPont $1.3 billion public water service settlement hearing in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. Judge Gergel will take the matter under advisement, and render a written decision. I feel there’s a good chance the settlement will ultimately be approved. 

A historic setting

The Judge pointed out that he set the hearing in a historic courtroom, where Justice Thurgood Marshall argued to overturn separate but equal and started a journey that would ultimately result in the SCOTUS opinion Brown vs. Board of Education. Several times during the hearing, Judge Gergel stated this is also a historic settlement. At this point, it is the largest public water settlement on record. It provides funds needed to protect public health. 

Minimal Objections

Three lawyers made objections for approximately a dozen public water providers. They did not seek to overturn the settlement. Instead, they seek relatively minor modifications to the wording in the settlement and pointed out a unique issue for one of their clients. The Court encouraged the parties to discuss a resolution of the objections, which seems feasible to me. Many other objections have been resolved since the settlement was finalized on June 30, 2023.

Judge Gergel’s view

The court discussed many issues, weighing in favor of the settlement, including the potential for bankruptcy of defendants, the time and expense of individual trials, and Dupont potential liability relative to 3M and other defendants. He explained his view that not having to prove causation against DuPont was a substantial benefit to the class members. I don’t recall him saying anything negative about the settlement at any time during the hearing.

Awaiting a ruling

History in this case shows that Judge Gergel doesn’t waste time. He usually rules relatively quickly. I hope to see a final ruling granting approval before year end.

OUR team

We prefer doing to talking (except in court), We take the bull by the horns and give you clear and practical advice. Personal, to the point, and in plain language. Any questions? Feel free to call or to drop by.

After reviewing your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages, we can help you understand what your case is worth and plan a road map going forward.
After reviewing your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages, we can help you understand what your case is worth and plan a road map going forward.

$1.056 billion verdict against Exxon Mobil

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