Closer to Trial

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A September 20 trial date has been set in the issue of whether a chemical DuPont uses caused health problems for some area neighbors. A hearing to discuss pre-trial motions in the now two-and-a-half-year-old case was mostly held out of the presence of reporters.

"There are a couple of matters here," said Diana Everett, an attorney representing DuPont, "which we believe would be inappropriate to have any media attention on at this point."

What was made public was the planned September trial date, and that the company's CEO, is being made available to provide a deposition.

To get an idea of the magnitude of this trial, most criminal trials last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. This trial could last a lot longer and could involve more jurors than typical trials.

There's also concern an impartial jury might not be found in Wood County.

"Because of some of the publicity, we may want to get a jury from outside of the county," said plaintiffs' attorney Harry Deitzler.

"We'll try," responded presiding judge George Hill, "and if we can't get a jury, we'll bring in other jurors."

Why potentially such a long trial? The answer may lie in what's at stake, the environmental and economic future of the mid-Ohio valley.

DuPont has used its own data to maintain that C-8 does, not cause any adverse health effects for humans.