Dow Dupont merger makes pursuing lawsuits more difficult

DowBy 2017 Dow Chemical and Dupont USA are expected to merge, becoming the largest chemical company in the United States.

However, it may take nearly 100 years before lawsuits brought against Dupont are resolved.

Late last year, Dupont USA was found liable in the first of 35-hundred cases brought against the company for causing cancer in individuals who drank water contaminated with one of their chemicals.

The court awarded 1-point-6 million dollars to the plaintiff.

Through the upcoming merger of equals, Dow and Dupont will become one, and then split into three separate entities the following year.

With thousands of cases against Dupont still to be resolved, some are left wondering where the liability will fall.

Nancy White is Chairperson of the Department of Finance and Law at Central Michigan University.

She said there’s no chance for the liability to simply disappear. However, she does believe the merger could help Dupont thin out the cases.

“I think it definitely has advantages from the business standpoint. It could delay things, it will confuse people, it is a strategy that I can easily see people sitting around a table, then adopting to make the litigation more difficult.”

White said companies don’t have to abide by a moral code. She said their ability to thrive is based on the profit they make, and cases like this can detract from that bottom line.

“Their goal is to try to win, and to try to get rid of the litigation. Their goal is not to be fair, or to try and solve this problem. Their goal is just to win, and get rid of it. That’s the goal of businesses in this type of situation. The profit and the bottom line.”

Dow and Dupont have set 2017 as the time period for their split into three separate entities.

2017 also marks the start of a period when Dupont is expected to face 40 trials per year, until the 3500 cases run out.