Cincinnati11:22 a.m. EST January 7, 2016
The New York Times Magazine this week profiles Cincinnati lawyer Rob Bilott.
The Taft Stettinius & Hollister lawyer has taken on the Wilmington,Del.-based chemical giant over pollution in West Virginia. At issue: a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA.
"Rob Bilott was a corporate defense attorney for eight years. Then he took on an environmental suit that would upend his entire career
— and expose a brazen, decades-long history of chemical pollution," reads the cover blurb.
‘‘I started seeing a story,’’ Bilott said. ‘‘I may have been the first one to actually go through them all. It became apparent what was going on: They had known for a long time that this stuff was bad.’’
Bilott is given to understatement. (‘‘To say that Rob Bilott is understated,’’ his colleague Edison Hill says, ‘‘is an understatement.’’)
Bilott doesn’t regret fighting DuPont for the last 16 years, nor for letting PFOA consume his career. But he is still angry. ‘‘The thought that DuPont could get away with this for this long,’’ Bilott says, his tone landing halfway 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 effects — we told the agencies about this in 2001, and they’ve essentially done nothing. That’s 14 years of this stuff continuing to be used, continuing to be in the drinking water all over the country. DuPont just quietly switches over to the next substance. And in the meantime, they fight everyone who has been injured by it.’’
The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare
Bilott不悔爭取杜邦在過去16年裡，也不是為了讓PFOA消耗他的職業生涯。但他還在生氣。 ''本以為杜邦可以逃脫這個這麼久，'Bilott說，他的語氣驚訝和憤怒之間的中途降落，''，他們可以不斷盈利掉，然後得到政府機構的協議慢慢地逐步出來，只能將其與未知的人類影響的另一種替代 - 我們說，在2001年這個機構，他們已經基本上做什麼。這是14年的這個東西繼續使用，繼續在飲用水全國各地。杜邦公司只是靜靜地切換到下一個物質。在此期間，他們打大家誰已經受傷了。'“