Retrial begins in lawsuit against DuPont

Published 5:01 pm Friday, May 23, 2008

A Jones County jury has been seated in the new trial of a lawsuit brought against DuPont by a Bay St. Louis man who says dioxins from the DeLisle plant caused his rare blood cancer.

The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Glen Strong’s $14 million 2005 jury verdict and a new trial was ordered. Testimony will continue Friday and the trial is expected to last about two weeks.

Strong claims he ingested dioxin — chemicals that are hazardous even in very small amounts — from the company’s DeLisle plant through the air and through oysters he ate from the Bay of St. Louis. The plant is about five miles from Strong’s home.

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DuPont makes titanium dioxide at the plant. It’s a white pigment used to make paint, toothpaste, plastics and other items.

The court also overturned a verdict of $1.5 million issued to Strong’s wife, Connie, for loss of love and companionship. Their lawsuit was the first of about 2,000 filed against DuPont.

“We have long maintained that there is no connection between Mr. Strong’s illness and any activities at our facilities,” DuPont spokeswoman Mary Kate Campbell said. “We have confidence in our case, the fairness of our science and Mississippi’s jurors.”

The Strongs’ attorney, Al Stewart, said his clients asked him not to speak with the media till after the trial.