38 PFOA C8 Dark Waters

Dark Waters

Running Time 01:58:44 #xx:yy:zz denotes #hh:mm:ss time position
~ ~ ~ Scene change
. . . Text interuption or skipped

1975 Parkersburg West Virginia

kids skinny dipping chased away from pond, foam on surface #00:02:47 “ God damn kids” and sprays pond from boat labelled W. Virginia Containment Services #00:03:13

1998 Cincinnati Ohio


Based on The New York Times Magazine Article The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare by Nathaniel Rich #00:03:44

Tom Terp: . . . welcome to Taft Law Gentlemen #00:04:26 Before we get started a little housekeeping. All of you know this young man is a dedicated task associate who for the past eight years has buried himself in the Super-fund Law

??:.. clean up #00:04:40

Tom Terp: It is my pleasure to share with you that just last week Rob Bilott was welcomed as a partner here at Taft, Stettinius and Hollister #00:04:51

~ ~ ~

. . . Receptionist: . . . One moment, I’ll connect you. Good morning welcome to Taft Law. One moment please. It’s the Governor’s office calling for Mr Burke #00:05:07

May I help you #00:05:12

Wilbur Tennant: Wilbur Tennant calling on Robbie Bilott #00:05:14

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: . . . EPA saddled them with the whole bill given your client's history that’s a real possibility.

??: I’ll take it back to them. #00:05:23

~ ~ ~

Kathleen Welch: . . .Sorry . . . but they won’t leave #00:05:29

Rob Bilott: Who’s they?

Kathleen Welch: I don’t know. They know who you are.

Wilbur Tennant: Robbie Bilott? #00:05:40

Rob Bilott: Umm, yes.

Wilbur Tennant: They call it a . . . dump what it is They told my brother and me no chemicals . . . .

But we ain’t stupid. Made them video tapes myself, all of the proof you need they’re poisoning the creek, killing my animals #00:05:55

Rob Bilott: I am the middle of a meeting

Wilbur Tennant: So I want a lawyer every damn one of them in Parkersburg is too yellow to take my case.

Kathleen Welch: Rob, he wants you back in there #00:06:02

Wilbur Tennant: They’re all scared shitless of DuPont. Well I ain’t scared of nobody

Rob Bilott: Kathleen is my paralegal she is going to give you a directory of lawyers .

Wilbur Tennant: I saw your grand ma.

Rob Bilott: What?

Wilbur Tennant: My neighbour tells me call Emma White. Her grandson lawyer some fancy environment lawyer down in Cincinnati. #00:6:20

Rob Bilott: Sir, I am a corporate defence attorney.

Wilbur Tennant: So?

Rob Bilott: I defend chemical companies

Wilbur Tennant: Well now you can defend me. #00:6:32

Tom Terp: Rob!

Rob Bilott: Thirty seconds Tom. I’m sorry . . . Mr.

Mr. Wilbur Tennant: Tennant

Rob Bilott: I can offer you a referral? But I just don’t see how I can be of any help to you

Wilbur Tennant: Start by watching them tapes for one thing.

Jim Tennant: Oh Let’s go Earl #00:06:47

Rob Bilott: I’m sorry. I wish you all the luck

Wilbur Tennant: Don’t need luck boy. I need your help

Wilbur Tennant to Jim: Come on. #00:06:57

~ ~ ~

. . .

Tom Terp: What the hell was that all about? #00:07:23

Rob Bilott: He knows my grandmother

Tom Terp: Really

Rob Bilott: My mum’s from West Virginia, from a town, Parkersburg. Not us, my father’s Air Force, we moved around a lot, but we spent Summers there. #00:07:37

??: Come on Terp, you are buying

Tom Terp: Of course I am #00:07:39

Tom Terp: You can be from West Virginia Rob. I won’t tell any one #00:07:44

~ ~ ~

??: So going to eat with us lowly associates? #00:07:56 . . .

Rob Bilott: You guys go ahead, . . . I’ve got to make a call. I’ll see you there #00:08:22 . . . Answering Machine: You are through to residence of Alma White #00:08:48

~ ~ ~

Sarah Bilott: . . . And the granite samples came in. Can you pick them up on your way home tomorrow? Rob.

Rob Bilott: Oh! Eh? Yeah sure#00:09:28

Sarah Bilott: You OK #00:09:33

~ ~ ~

#00:10:43 – girl on bicycle with black teeth smile in Parkersburg

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: Hi gran-mers #00:11:18

Alma White: What on Earth?

Rob Bilott: Tried to call. But you weren’t picking up #00:11:25

. . .

Rob Bilott: A farmer came to see me. #00:11:37

Alma White: Wilbur Tennant?

Rob Bilott: You do know him? #00:11:41

Alma White: I don’t socialise with him if that’s what you mean. I met gran on the farm next to his. I used to take you and Beth over there when you was little

Rob Bilott: Is that the place? #00:11:56

. . .

Alma White: You rode that pony. #00:12:12

Rob Bilott: Aw, I loved that place #00:12:15

. . .

Alma White: Saw cow for the first time. Learned to milk it. Remember you sitting there for hours making sure you got every last drop. .. just like you. There. So you gonna help him? #00:12:33

Rob Bilott: Huh! #00:12:35

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott visits Dry Run Landfill site Parkersburg #00:12:56

~ ~ ~ Wilbur Tennant: . . . dumped up the hill. Since I started complaining about my creek . . . all blocked off. #00:13:32

Rob Bilott: Hi I’m Rob.

Sandra Tennant: Sandra #00:13:41

Wilbur Tennant: The state in the in the area I call . . . Parkersburg they will not return my phone calls. Like I bite the hand that feeds. #00:13:51

Rob Bilott: I’m sorry,

Wilbur Tennant: This is a gall. Look at the size of it. Ain’t seen no gall that big. Bigger than a heart #00:13:57

Rob Bilott: That your cows?

Wilbur Tennant: Look at them tapes. Black as night. There. Hoof, all turned in on itself. Half my calves born hooves like that. #00:14:13 Tumour, I done cut off the back off a heifer. How would you like that on your table? #00:14:20

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: What am I looking for?

Wilbur Tennant: You blind boy? Stones as white as the hairs on my head. #00:14:31 That’s chemicals I’m telling you. My animals drink this water. Cool off in her. Bloody well, dead eyes, stares at me crazy like. Animals used to eat out of my own hands #00:14:49

Rob Bilott: Where are the rest of them?

Wilbur Tennant: C’mon #00:14:56

~ ~ ~

Wilbur Tennant: In the beginning I was burying them, each one. They were family. There got to be so many, piles them up as fives. #00:15:18

Rob Bilott: How many did you loose?

Wilbur Tennant: Hundred! Ninety!

Rob Bilott: A hundred and ninety, 190, cattle? #00:15:27

Wilbur Tennant: You tell me there’s nothing wrong here! #00:15:30

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: This landfill wasn’t always here?#00:15:41

Wilbur Tennant: No. My brother Jim used to dig ditches over at DuPont’s land. Got sick couldn’t do it no more. One day they come to him offered to buy his land right . . . dollar. They promised no chemicals #00:15:54

Rob Bilott: I assume you reached out to DuPont.

Wilbur Tennant: DuPont, the State, called the Feds everybody there is dozens of times EPA finally comes out here and . . .

Rob Bilott: So they did? #00:16:04

Wilbur Tennant: And offered some report

Rob Bilott: What did it say? #00:16:07

Wilbur Tennant: You think they’re going to show me? #00:16:11

~ ~ ~

. . .

Sarah Bilott: You get the tiles? #00:16:53

Rob Bilott: I’m sorry, no.

Sarah Bilott: Rob!

Rob Bilott: I didn’t drive into to town today. I’m sorry

Sarah Bilott: What do you mean ..

Rob Bilott: I had to go to Parkersburg

Sarah Bilott: Parkersburg? Why did you have to go to Parkersburg?

Rob Bilott: I may have a client there. #00:17:13

Sarah Bilott: West Virginia? What sort of case have you got?

Rob Bilott: He’s a farmer he knows my gran-mers, not well but ..

Sarah Bilott: So you saw her? . . . Was your mother there?

Rob Bilott: C’mon Sarah I didn’t sneak off to see my mother.

Sarah Bilott: So why did you sneak off?

Rob Bilott: I didn’t #00:17:32

~ ~ ~

??: Our speaker tonight is no stranger to the Taft family. Philip Donnelly, Phil to us, serves as in house corporate counsel to DuPont, not only one of America’s most revered chemical companies, but one of the few giants of the industry that Taft doesn’t represent. #00:17:54

Jay: Not yet anyway

??: That’s the spirit Jay. We have Phil here tonight not just to show what he is missing but hear how a renowned leader of our industry stays that way. Please welcome Phil Donnelly #00:18:10

Phil Donnelly: At Dupont we are not producing chemicals for chemical sake we are producing them for people’s sake. To make folks lives easier, happier, longer. That’s why “better living through chemistry” is not just a slogan at DuPont, it is our DNA #00:18:40

Phil Donnelly: Hey Rob is it true what Tom tells me?

Rob Bilott: Yeah. It’s true.

Phil Donnelly: Well good on them they’re lucky to have you.

Rob Bilott: Thanks Phil

Phil Donnelly: Like I always tell my young associates keep your head down and do work things #00:18:55

Rob Bilott: Phil, can ask you a sort of an odd question?

Phil Donnelly: Shoot!

Rob Bilott: Does the name Wilbur Tennant ring a bell? #00:19:01

Phil Donnelly: Tennant is his name?

Rob Bilott: Tennant

Phil Donnelly: No

Rob Bilott: Mr Tennant is a farmer from West Virginia whose property abuts one of your landfills, Dry Run, and his cows have been getting sick he thinks possibly because of the run off from the landfill into his creek.

Phil Donnelly: You’re kidding me? How did this come to you? #00:19:18

Rob Bilott: He’s a farmer, my grandmother she’s Parkersburg . . .

Phil Donnelly: Really Washington Works great plans. ???

Rob Bilott: Right, she knows him#00:19:27

Phil Donnelly: So your grandmother’s on your back?

Rob Bilott: Something like that. Any way the farmer said the EPA came out took a look around I wondered . . .

Phil Donnelly: Maybe the landfill . .

Rob Bilott: Dry Run #00:19:38

Phil Donnelly: Now that you mention it we may have sent some folks out there if I remember to help EPA check it out #00:19:46

Rob Bilott: Yeah, that’s got to be it so I’d love to share whatever came with that with Mr Tennant to help settle his nerves. #00:19:51

Phil Donnelly: Absolutely as soon as I’m back in Wilmington I’ll take a look.

Rob Bilott: Thanks, really appreciate it #00:19:57

Phil Donnelly: Happy to do it. Now let’s get a drink and toast you. My friend. You. #00:20:01

~ ~ ~

#00:20:01 memo dated 21-Oct-1998 10/21/98 with report

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: Mr Tennant #00:20:16 Rob Bilott: Mr Tennant I have your report #00:20:22

Wilbur Tennant: Sons of bitches! Who the hell do they think they are? Who gave then the right.

Rob Bilott: It’s an evaluation … #00:20:30

Wilbur Tennant: Poppycock is what it is. I have been farming my entire life. Entire life. You read that. You tell me you recognise my farm #00:20:39

Rob Bilott: Mr Tennant.

Wilbur Tennant: Read it!

Rob Bilott: The herd health investigation reveals deficiency in herd management including, poor nutrition, inadequate veterinary care and lack of fly control. #00:20:57

Wilbur Tennant: You see any flies here? #00:20:58

Rob Bilott: It’s snowing

Wilbur Tennant: Stop making excuses, go ondamn you!

Rob Bilott: . . . tests they consulted a vet. #00:21:08

Wilbur Tennant: Whose vet? DuPont’s? Look at yourself, swallowing whole whatever it is they have been feeding you. Can’t tell truth from lies. You even want that case I gave you?

Rob Bilott: Sir I am trying to help #00:21:23

Wilbur Tennant: Trying?

Rob Bilott: Trying to help

Wilbur Tennant: Stop moving! Easy now! Easy. #00:21:36

Wilbur Tennant: Easy ! Get in! Slow!

Wilbur Tennant: Forgive me girl #00:22:09 (to shot cow)

~ ~ ~

#00:23:21 Rob Bilott leaves DuPont Washington Works

~ ~ ~

#00:24:15 Wilbur Tennant commentary on video, “eyes are cloudy with pink eye what they’ll call it. Anyway her eyes are sunk way back in her head. . . . Now I’m going to cut her open and find out what caused her to die. Cause I was feeding her enough feed to that she should have gained weight instead of loosing weight. This is what her teeth looks like. That’s the upper one. This one here I have never seen anything like it in my life time #00:24:50 Even the veterinary said he would never have saw anything like this before in his life either. #00:24:56

~ ~ ~

Tom Terp: So what are you proposing we do? #00:25:09

Rob Bilott: File a claim, . . . to discovery. Find out what’s in that landfill

Tom Terp: You want to sue DuPont? #00:25:16

Rob Bilott: Targeted. Property dispute. Routine stuff

Tom Terp: Not routine he’s not from around here

Rob Bilott: I know, but Tom if you’d actually seen, his farm is like a graveyard. There’s something very wrong #00:25:28

Tom Terp: He should hire a local lawyer.

Rob Bilott: None of them will do it. They are all terrified of DuPont. #00:25:34

Tom Terp: Well, what does that tell you?

Rob Bilott: We know DuPont. They are going to want to hear if some of their local guys are screwing this up.

Tom Terp: Oh so they are going to thank us for suing them? #00:25:43

Rob Bilott: Better us than the EPA. New partners are supposed to bring in business right?

Tom Terp: So your farmer can swing $275 an hour?

Rob Bilott: It’d be out of contingency #00:25:52

Tom Terp: What are we, coupon chasers now?

Rob Bilott: It’s a small matter for a family friend. I’ll get in and I’ll get out. Help the guy that needs it #00:25:59

Tom Terp: Who the farmer or you?

Tom Terp: Surgical. Do you hear me #00:26:25

Rob Bilott: Absolutely, thank you #00:26:27

~ ~ ~

Phil Donnelly: C’mon. Of course Rob I’m going to take your calls. I admit I'm a little surprised getting sued by Taft Law. It is not every day frankly #00:26:40

Rob Bilott: No I’m sorry

Phil Donnelly: Look you and I are friends this is a minor issue. No reason it should get messy

Rob Bilott: Thank you I totally agree. I’m putting you on speaker phone. #00:26:51

Phil Donnelly: So you want to know if we violated our permits.

Rob Bilott: Pretty much Pretty much, yeah. #00:26:57

Phil Donnelly: OK. I’ll have our guys send over anything related to hazardous waste at Dry Run and I’ll tell them to hurry it up this time. How’s that? #00:27:07

Rob Bilott: Thank you, that sounds great.

Phil Donnelly: And don’t stress. I forgive you. #00:27:10

Rob Bilott: Thanks Phil. #00:27:11

1999 One year since the start of the Tennant case


Sarah Bilott: Did you take your baby into the office?

Rob Bilott: I needed a bigger trunk #00:27:35

Sarah Bilott: Why?

Rob Bilott: Discovery for the Tennant case came in today #00:27:41

~ ~ ~

#00:27:58 Rob circles “55-gallon steel drums” on sheet of paper

#00:28:10 Rob circles “PFOA” on sheet of paper

#00:28:38 AltaVista search returns POA for PFOA search

~ ~ ~

Kim Burke: How is my favourite plaintiff attorney? #00:28:49

Rob Bilott: Help me out, will you? Nothing but trash

Kim Burke : You sound like my first girlfriend

Rob Bilott: Why a requisition order for 55 gallon containers?

Kim Burke: . . . 55 gallon drums.

Rob Bilott: . . . ash, glass tubing, plastic, paper weights it’s just trash, you pack it into a truck drive away. You don’t pack it into drums #00:29:10

Kim Burke: so they have got liquid waste.

Rob Bilott: hazardous Not hazardous or they have to disclose it. So what is killing these cows? It’s not paper and ash. #00:29:17

Kim Burke: Maybe it’s human error they are dumping something in there they don’t know is toxic. #00:29:20

Rob Bilott: Kim, It’s DuPont, they know more than the EPA does #00:29:25

Kim Burke: Everyone knows more than the EPA does. Why else would they let us regulate ourselves? What?

Rob Bilott: Do we? #00:29:33

Kim Burke: Do we what?

Rob Bilott: The EPA only started regulating chemicals in ‘76

Kim Burke: Yeah, Yeah.

Rob Bilott: They are grandfathering in every existing chemical non-hazardous unless they knew it was hazardous or a company told them it was. #00:29:48

Kim Burke: We are saying the same thing.

Rob Bilott: No we are not. I’m saying what if a company didn’t tell. What if the reason Phil Donnelly agreed to the discovery on hazardous is because he knows whatever's in that landfill isn’t even regulated.

Kim Burke: OK, Now you are sounding like a plaintiff’s attorney. I have got a meeting #00:30:11

Rob Bilott: Oh, wait one second have you heard of this PFOA

Kim Burke: No. #00:30:18

Rob Bilott: It is mentioned here but I can’t find anything about it in any of the literature I don’t even know if it is a chemical.

Kim Burke : Ask Phil.

Rob Bilott: Well thank you. #00:30:28

~ ~ ~

??: . . . As I said Mr Donnelly is still out of town.

Rob Bilott: Well I called. I called last week and left two messages and I haven’t heard back from him.  . . . OK. #00:30:37

Kathleen Welch: Your tickets for the Chemical Alliance Dinner. And no! Dark suit is not the same as black tie. Won’t he going? #00:30:47

~ ~ ~

1999 Ohio Chemical Alliance Annual Dinner

Cameo #00:31:16 Sarah and Rob Bilott

Sarah Bilott: I don’t know if Rob told you but I was a receptionist at Taft before law school

Tom Terp: Is that right?

Sarah Bilott: Sorry …

~ ~ ~

Kim Burke: Right away I saw a little of myself in him. One black sheep to another. My dad was a steelworker you know. #00:31:38

Rob Bilott: Have you seen Phil?

Kim Burke: No #00:31:42

. . .

??: So you are an attorney?

Sarah Bilott: Oh I represented employers with views now I stay at home with our baby #00:31:51

??: Well that’s the thing with lady lawyers. #00:31:53

. . .

Rob Bilott: You’re not? #00:32:10

??: I am

Rob Bilott: She’s ??: I am going to wait as long as I can to tell the firm

Sarah Bilott: Can you excuse us for a moment. These lady lawyers need a quick side bar.

Sarah Bilott: Be nice to him. #00:32:29

~ ~ ~

Phil Donnelly: Rob how are you? #00:32:50

Rob Bilott: I have been trying to reach you.

Phil Donnelly: Sorry about all this travelling. How about I give you a shout tomorrow? #00:32:54

Rob Bilott: We’re going to need to broaden the scope of the discovery to everything in that landfill has in it whether hazardous or not.

Phil Donnelly: Excuse me. You kidding me

Rob Bilott: No. I think whatever was causing problems in there isn’t something the EPA regulates or knows to regulate. #00:33:13

Phil Donnelly: Sorry!

Rob Bilott: I’m seeing things in your documents I don’t understand

Phil Donnelly: You’re seeing ghosts. That’s what you are seeing. Frankly you’re making an ass of yourself. #00:33:21

Rob Bilott: OK then help me out What is this PFOA. What does that stand for?

Phil Donnelly: Gee .. . You are on a god damn fishing expedition. You want to flush your career down the toilet for some cow-hand? Be my guest. I’m done helping you. #00:33:40

Rob Bilott: I need to insist on broadening discovery

Phil Donnelly: Sue me.

Rob Bilott: I’m already suing you.

Speaker/MC: Welcome everyone to the 14th Annual Ohio Chemical Alliance . . .

Phil Donnelly: Fuck you!

Speaker/MC: . . . Awards Dinner #00:33:55

Phil Donnelly: Dick

Speaker/MC: So let’s get the fun started. #00:34:02

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: I’m sorry #00:34:23

Sarah Bilott: You’re not the only one who sacrificed #00:34:27

Sarah Bilott: I just hope you know what you are doing. #00:34:35

~ ~ ~

Tom Terp: You know the difference between business and pleasure, right? Why on Earth would you engage in business conversations at a public function? #00:34:48

Rob Bilott: Tom! He’s hiding something. You saw his reaction.

Tom Terp: Me and everyone in that room, Taft in a pissing match with DuPont.

Rob Bilott: I’m going to get a court order and force them to tell me everything that’s in that landfill.

Tom Terp: So now you actually want to take them to court, #00:35:01

Rob Bilott: And I’m going to need local counsel West Virginia.

Tom Terp: Whatever happened to routine stuff? #00:35:04

~ ~ ~

Larry Winter: Of course I remember you. Yeah, the last time I saw you Phil Donnelly was trying to get you to the links with us. #00:35:13 ??6:

. . .

Larry Winter: You what?

~ ~ ~

Passer-by: Good morning Larry

Larry Winter: Good morning miss. You look nice

Receptionist: Save it for the judge Mr Winter.#00:35:57

Larry Winter: heh, heh

Receptionist: You are suing DuPont. #00:36:03

Larry Winter: Yes ma'am

Receptionist: You represent DuPont?

Larry Winter: My old firm did. I’ve been out on my own for a while

Receptionist: Good luck with that. #00:36:15

~ ~ ~

Phil Donnelly: Just wanted to let you know personally, your court order discovery is on the way

Rob Bilott: Thanks Phil. #00:36:26

Phil Donnelly: Yeah It’s been my pleasure

Rob Bilott: Discovery #00:36:33

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: Son of a bitch #00:36:48

Tom Terp: . . . no admission of liability. Non-disclosure of any and all terms. Pardon me a moment #00:37:00

~ ~ ~

Assistant: Holy Jesus . . . What in the world? #00:37:24

Rob Bilott: I guess the joke’s on me #00:37:25

Assistant: Yeah . . . no one can go through all these files not in a million years

Rob Bilott: Yeah I’m pretty sure that’s what they are banking on #00:37:32 . . .

Assistant: Here. #00:37:42

Rob Bilott: No, No you shouldn’t be around this stuff

Assistant: You sure?

Rob Bilott: I’m positive, thank you though. #00:37:47

Assistant: Yeah, Yeah. Good luck #00:37:53

~ ~ ~

#00:38:07 1957 DuPont Washington Works Xmas card Rob Bilott - Sorting documents

~ ~ ~

Cameo #00:39:09 Jim Tennant (Wilburs’s Brother)

Jim Tennant: Hey Bobbie. #00:39:23

Bobbie: What you havin’?

Wilbur Tennant: Usual. Eggs over bacon and grits.

Jim Tennant: Same #00:39:32

#00:39:40 Parkersburg paper headline “Disgruntled Farmer Sues City’s Top Employer”

~ ~ ~

Wilbur Tennant: Wilbur Tennant.

Kathleen Welch: He’s not in his office can I take a message? #00:39:52

Wilbur Tennant: I did leave a message

Kathleen Welch: I know Mr Tennant, but he really can’t get to the phone right now.

Wilbur Tennant: I won’t … for God Sakes!

Kathleen Welch: I’ll let him . . .#00:40:01

Wilbur Tennant: OK #00:40:01

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: . . . at mum and Dad’s. What . . . I have a bad cell. Will you tell gran-mers I called and mum too. #00:40:21 . . .

#0040:33 PFOA/C-8 on document

Kim Burke: You know you look like a crazy person right? #00:40:42

Rob Bilott: What was the name of that guy you brought by?

Kim Burke: What guy

Rob Bilott: The chemistry expert. The guy that does the models. #00:40:49

Kim Burke: Gillespie

~ ~ ~

Waitress: Here you go. #00:40:55

Dr. Gillespie: Thank you.

Dr. Gillespie: Kim Burke had an expense account #00:40:59

Rob Bilott: Sorry it’s not that kind of case. Are you familiar with something called PFOA?

Dr. Gillespie: No … No … I did read something recently about PFOS I think it was, that sounds related. #00:41:20

Rob Bilott: What was that? Dr. Gillespie: Long chain fluorocarbon synthetic

Rob Bilott: I’m sorry chemistry was my worst class in high school.#00:41:29

Dr. Gillespie: Boy are you in the wrong line of work.

Rob Bilott: Tell me about it. So?

Dr. Gillespie: So synthetic, man made, Frankenstein, and long chain fluorocarbons - sequence of carbon atoms add a fluoride. All right in the lab you take a carbon atom and then you add another carbon atom, and another, and another . . . You are making a chain . . . right (diagram C-C-C-C-C) right.

Rob Bilott: could it be (diagram C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C) 8 Carbon

Dr. Gillespie: Well sure, yeah in the lab you can do almost do anything #00:42:09

Rob Bilott: Why would you want to? Make this I mean?

Dr. Gillespie: Well a chain like like that is pretty much unbreakable, bio-chemically speaking. So industrial uses I imagine. 3M made it, they don’t any more. That’s what I read. #00:42:26

Rob Bilott: So why did they stop?

Dr. Gillespie: Didn’t say. #00:42:29

Rob Bilott: What if you drank it?

Dr. Gillespie: Drank it? You don’t.

Rob Bilott: But what if you did?

Waitress: Ready to order?

Rob Bilott: But what if you did? #00:42:47

Dr. Gillespie: That’s like saying what if I swallowed a tyre. I don’t know. You want to be the guy that finds out? Tuna Melt. #00:42:55

~ ~ ~


Cameo #00:43:17 Darlene and Joe Kiger Tennant family “ignored” at church service #00:43:30

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott’s child’s book “I spy funny teeth” on carpet. Rob recalls girl with black teeth on bicycle #00:44:23

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: That chemical you said it had a fluoride atom #00:44:45

Dr. Gillespie: A fluorocarbon so yes. Somewhere along the chain ..

Rob Bilott: What would it do to your teeth? If you drank it? Don’t tell me you shouldn’t. If you did it? #00:44:53 If you drank a lot of it what would it do to your teeth?

Dr. Gillespie: Trace amounts fluoride hardens teeth. But too much it would stain them, even turn them black. #00:45:02 Can I get back to my family now? #00:45:05

Sarah Bilott: Where are you going?. . .

Rob Bilott: It’s in their water.

Sarah Bilott: What? What is?

~ ~ ~

#00:45:33 document C8 discharges to Ohio river 1996 C-8 levels detected in Public Water Systems Wood County, West Virginia #00:45:36

~ ~ ~

Doctor: how long’s your coughing been? #00:45:51

Wilbur Tennant: A couple, couple of months.

Sandra Tennant: A year #00:45:57

Doctor: Are you a smoker? Roll up your sleeve we are going to take some blood.#00:46:04

Nurse: Ahem Ahem … (calling Doctor attention to marks on Wilbur’s arm)

~ ~ ~

Wilbur Tennant: Thought you left him inside? #00:46:19

Sandra Tennant: I did.

Wilbur Tennant: You moved it. #00:46:36

Sandra Tennant: What? #00:46:38

Wilbur Tennant: Did you go through this?

Sandra Tennant: No #00:46:41

Wilbur Tennant: They’ve been here (samples missing from fridge/freezer)#00:46:46 They’ve been here

#00:46:49 (Wilbur checks videos under floorboards, Sandra drinks water) #00:47:05

~ ~ ~

#00:47:29 (helicopter above Tennant farm

~ ~ ~

Wilbur Tennant: Quiet #00:47:35

Wilbur Tennant: This is my land. You get outta here (shouts at helicopter) #00:47:50

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: In “discovery archive” Smoking a single cigarette containing fluorocarbon Telomer (average of 10 Subjects) #00:48:31

#00:48:50 Rob Bilott with photograph of DuPont workers with Teflon on their overalls.

#00:49:23 Document “Happy Pan” sealed with Teflon.

~ ~ ~

Sarah Bilott: Rob. #00:50:08

Sarah Bilott: Holy crap! Rob #00:50:34 What .. for God sakes! #00:50:39

Rob Bilott: It’s just me

Sarah Bilott: Rob you need to tell me what in the hell’s going on. #00:50:41

Rob Bilott: We are being poisoned. #00:50:46

Sarah Bilott: Rob.

Rob Bilott: What? I mean it DuPont is knowingly poisoning us. #00:50:55

Sarah Bilott: You mean the farmer. His land.

Rob Bilott: All of us. Please don’t look at me like that. They are already poisoning our baby. #00:51:06

Sarah Bilott: . . . I’m off to bed. Rob Bilott: Sarah, #00:51:10

Sarah Bilott: Just stop it, stop it OK? Do you hear yourself and tearing up our floor scaring me half to death. I know it’s my job to support you but that does not come into our home our family, our unborn child is being poisoned. No! #00:51:26

Rob Bilott: I’m sorry. Can I please explain #00:51:28

Sarah Bilott: Explain what?

Rob Bilott: All of it. And if you still think I’m crazy I’ll drop it. I swear to God. I swear to you. #00:51:38

Rob Bilott: There is a man made chemical that was invented during the Manhattan project. It repelled the elements, especially water. So they used it to make the first ever waterproof coating for tanks. It was indestructible. Then some companies thought, “hey, why just the battlefield? Why not bring this chemical into American homes?”

Sarah Bilott: What chemical? #00:52:19

~ ~ ~

Receptionist: He’ll see you now. #00:52:21

Rob Bilott: DuPont was one of those companies. So they took this chemical PFOA, they renamed it C8 and they made their own impenetrable coating but not for tanks, for pans. They called it Teflon a shining symbol of American ingenuity, made right here in USA in Parkersburg, West Virginia but right from the start something wasn’t right. The men and the workers who made Teflon were coming down with nausea, fevers. DuPont wanted to know why so they laced cigarettes with Teflon they told a group of their workers, ”Hey smoke these.” DuPonters did as they were told, almost all of them were hospitalised. #00:53:11

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: That’s 1962 one year after Teflon launched and already DuPont knew. The dust they just sent right up the smoke stacks for release into the air. The sludge tossed into the Ohio or packed into drums and chucked into the Chesapeake, but then the drums started washing up. So DuPont starts digging ditches on the grounds of the Washington Works plant and in those pits they dumped thousands of tons of toxic C8 sludge and dust. #00:53:50

One of the men that they hired to dig those ditches was Wilbur Tennant’s brother Jim. But they weren’t the only ones covering their trash. 3M who pioneered these chemicals for ScotchGard they tested them on monkeys. Most of the monkeys died. #00:54:05

It wasn’t like that DuPont didn’t know that ‘cause they were doing their own tests on rats. Watched their organs balloon. #00:54:12

~ ~ ~

Now the rats are getting cancer. Tested them on pregnant rats and watched them give birth to pups with deformed eyes. So they yanked all the young women off the Teflon line, never told them why. Sue Bailey’s job was scrubbing these huge steel vats where they they held the liquid C8. She was pregnant. She gave birth to a baby with one nostril and a deformed eye. Remember how DuPont had seen those deformities in their rats? #00:54:52

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: What about his eyes? #00:54:55

Paeditrician: Blue #00:54:57

Rob Bilott: They are normal? The pupils?

Paediatrician: Mr Bilott. Relax. He’s perfect #00:55:04

Sarah Bilott: Hi Darling

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: So Sue goes to to Dupont she says “Why did you pull me off the Teflon line. Did C8 make my baby this way?” “ No.” they tell her. Then all of her records from her time at Teflon disappear. One year later they put all other women back on Teflon and never say a thing #00:55:28

~ ~ ~

Receptionist: He’s here #00:55:36

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: DuPont knew everything. They knew that the C8 they put into the air and buried into the ground for decades was causing cancers. They knew that their own workers were getting these cancers. They knew that the consumers too were being exposed and not just in Teflon, in paints, in fabrics, and raincoats, boots, to this day #00:56:07

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: For forty years you knew C8 was poisonous You knew the “Happy Pan” was a ticking time bomb and you knew exactly why, because C8 stays in us forever, our bodies are incapable of breaking it down. #00:56:24

And knowing all of this, still you did nothing, because doing something quote “would essentially put the long term viability of this product segment on the line” end quotes #00:56:38

You were making too much money. One billion dollars a year, just in profit, just in Teflon. And so you pumped millions more pounds of toxic C8 into the air, into the waters so much so you could actually see it foam. C8 was everywhere, there was nowhere left for you to contaminate #00:57:05

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: And that’s when they came to Jim. They knew he was sick and needed the money and they needed his land. And when they got it. They dug up all the C8 from every single pit at Washington Works, 14 million pounds of toxic C8 sludge and they dumped it again.

Wilbur Tennant: This time right up there #00:57:29

Rob Bilott: In the creek from your house. And that’s what your cows have been drinking Earl #00:57:35

Wilbur Tennant: Put them behind bars. Whole damn lot of them, rot in jail.#00:57:43

Rob Bilott: I understand but believe me that this a civil case the most we can hope for is damages. #00:57:48

Wilbur Tennant: Don’t want no money. Whole damn world. Make them pay for what they done.

Rob Bilott: You are right. They should. And it kills me that they won’t.  But that would mean going to trial and proving that C8 killed your cows. And every scientist that knows anything about this already works for these chemical companies. That’s not an accident Earl. Earl these companies they have all the money, all the time and they’ll use it. Trust me I know I was one of them. #00:58:27

Wilbur Tennant: You are still one of them #00:58:29

Rob Bilott: You can’t be serious? You know what I have put on the line here? #00:58:36

Wilbur Tennant: You want a prize, some medal ‘cause for once in your life because you took the side of the little guy. Sorry, no prize. All you get is your share of this blood money. You sleep real good tonight.

Rob Bilott: Fuck your family.

Wilbur Tennant: It ain’t just my cows that was poisoned. What do you think I fed my family on? #00:58:54

Rob Bilott: Wilbur . . . please . . . leave this place . . . start over . . . give your family a fighting chance #00:59:04

Wilbur Tennant: Too late for that. We got it. Sandra and me we got the cancer. Surprise, surprise. #00:59:16

~ ~ ~

Sarah Bilott: Here! #01:00:11 How did it go? . . . What’s wrong? . . . Rob. . . . Rob what is it? . . . Honey, honey #01:00:36

~ ~ ~

Sarah Bilott: It has all been hurting and you did the Christian thing. You helped them #01:00:45

Rob Bilott: How? Either he dies penniless or he just lets DuPont keep pillaging his community. How’s that helping? #01:00:54

Sarah Bilott: Goodnight then. Can’t believe a fricking case settlement could shut this up #01:01:16

Rob Bilott: Have you read their confidentiality agreements? #01:01:19

Sarah Bilott: … a threat to the public, this goes beyond you. #01:01:23

Rob Bilott: All I know is lawyering #01:01:27

Sarah Bilott: Then fine, become a lawyer. You know DuPont better than anyone. What happened to . . . #01:01:33

~ ~ ~

#01:01:41 Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional “splash screen” “preparing network connections . . .”

Email From: Robert Bilott

To: Environmental Protection Agency, <br>Department of Justice,<br>Department of Health & Human services.

Re: IMMINENT Danger to Public Health #01:02:28

~ ~ ~

Kathleen Welch: God, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. What is that? #01:02:33

Rob Bilott: A memo and one hundred and thirty six exhibits. #01:02:38

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: The EPA announced the public hearing into this family of chemicals I have been looking into. #01:03:34

David: I heard from Tucker.

Tom Terp: What Santo Tucker?

David: Union Carbide now. He said to me, “Is it true that a Taft lawyer sent a phone books worth of confidential documents to the entire government?” #01:03:43

. . .

Rob Bilott: Our argument is that the entire document is not confidential.#01:03:45 Very Different.

Tom Terp: . . .

Rob Bilott: I signed up to testify and the next thing I hear is DuPont has petitioned a judge to stop me from testifying, from Flying to DC, from even picking up the phone.#01:03:55

Tom Terp: Gag orders

Rob Bilott: Yes, this is what we are up against #01:03:58

Tom Terp: Where do we sit?

Rob Bilott: Well the judge has rejected the gag order. So I fly out Monday #01:04:05

David: Nice! I guess let's watch on C-Span

Tom Terp: You ever do anything like this again I will cut your balls off and serve them to DuPont myself. #01:04:14

Now get outta here! #01:04:17

Good luck in Washington #01:04:21

Rob Bilott: Thanks Tom #01:04:24

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: this material is a perfluoro or a PFOA it is also known as, as C143 ammonium perfluorooctonate. It has been shown by DuPont’s own science that PFOA-C8 is possibly life threatening to human health. We are asking this agency to do something #01:04:58

~ ~ ~

#01:05:13 Parkersburg West Virginia Home of Joe and Darlene Kiger

Joe Kiger: Did you forget to pay the water bill? #01:05:22

Darlene Kiger: What?

Joe Kiger: Did you forget to pay the water bill? #01:05:26

Darlene Kiger: No

Joe Kiger: Well we got another

Darlene Kiger: Well what does it say #01:05:33

Joe Kiger: PFOA is a persistent chemical that is slow to be eliminated from the bloodstream of people who have been exposed to it. The DuPont company has advised the Lubeck Water District that low concentrations have been found in the district’s wells. DuPont has advised the district that it is confident these levels are safe. What the hell does that mean #01:05:57

~ ~ ~


Joe and Darlene Kiger

Joe Kiger: This letter came last fall made no sense to me, so I started making calls. #01:06:01

Darlene Kiger: I told we done kicked that hornet’s nest. Like we didn’t know what we had signed up for.

Sarah Bilott: What do you mean? #01:06:12

Darlene Kiger: Oh I was married before Joe, to a chemist at DuPont. Good job, paid real well.  And the perks. Presents for no reason we’d get this catalogue to “pick whatever you want.” And little stuff. He’d bring home that soap, this miracle powder and put it in the washing machine or the dishwasher that wipes itself clean like you would not believe #01:06:35

One day he comes home and says “Can’t bring that stuff home no more.” Why?” He won’t tell me. #01:06:42 Then he’d get sick for weeks. The “Teflon flu” the guys called it. We knew something wasn’t right. But this house, we bought it by just showing the Bank my husband’s DuPont ID.  Put both our kids through college, engineers, This all doesn’t come without a price. #01:07:03

Joe Kiger: My brother Kenny didn’t know that price. He joined DuPont at 19, died on the operating table two years later. Ulcerative colitis #01:07:12

Darlene Kiger: Just like Dan Chiller had.

Rob Bilott: Who is Dan?

Darlene Kiger: A chemist at DuPont worked with my ex-husband #01:07:17

Joe Kiger: And Roger What’s-His-Name

Darlene Kiger: Wilkins the foreman #01:07:22

Joe Kiger: Steven Geller, Randy Field

Darlene Kiger: Randy’s was kidney cancer he survived

Joe Kiger: His wife didn’t

Darlene Kiger: No June’s was thyroid and supposed to be treatable. #01:07:31

Joe Kiger: But they didn’t catch it in time. #01:07:33

Darlene Kiger: They caught in their son. #01:07:35

Rob Bilott: Which, Were your children born healthy?

Darlene Kiger: Yes they were

Rob Bilott: Good #01:07:41

Darlene Kiger: But, we wanted a third. Couldn’t. Went to my doctor, he said ”you need a hysterectomy, you need it right away”#01:07:49

Sarah Bilott: I’m so sorry

Darlene Kiger: Bad luck I guess. I was 36

Rob Bilott: Mr Kiger do you think I could get a copy of that letter? #01:08:01

~ ~ ~

Sarah Bilott: What’s wrong with your hand?

Rob Bilott: Nothing. #01:08:16

Sarah Bilott: Rob.  What are you doing? #01:08:28

Rob Bilott: I mean I know it’s not enough to poison these people. They gotta swindle them to?

Sarah Bilott: OK. Calm down. Alright.

Rob Bilott: DuPont wrote that letter not the water authority. #01:08:38

Sarah Bilott: How do you know that?

Rob Bilott: Do you think I don’t know it? I know what a DuPont Letter looks like by now #01:08:41

Sarah Bilott: OK, OK, OK.

Rob Bilott: Be Jesus. It’s evil Sarah. It’s fucking evil. #01:08:48

Bilott Son: What’s that?

Sarah Bilott: It’s nothing sweetie

Rob Bilott: I’m sorry. #01:08:55 . . .

Rob Bilott: Where’s my? Gran-mer’s mailbox #01:09:03

Sarah Bilott: Medical Claims (Now and forever) Now and Forever is that medical monitoring. Is that? Thought you said that wasn’t going to pass? #01:09:17

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: Our lead plaintiff is Mr Joe Kiger

Tom Terp: Potential plaintiff, if the partnership approves #01:09:17

Rob Bilott: Mr Joe Kiger a Physics teacher from Parkersburg West Virginia on behalf of the seventy thousand local residents whose water DuPont knowingly poisoned for the last forty years.

David: Class action?

Tom Terp: Let him finish.#01:09:48

Rob Bilott: The Kigers were notified by their local water company that DuPont had found small concentrations of C8 in their water supply. But not to worry because those concentrations were safe. Why because DuPont said so.#01:10:04

This is what DuPont considers safe (flip chart 1 part / billion) #01:10:09

That’s something like one drop of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool. #01:10:16

In other words even a trace of C8 renders water unsafe. But DuPont told the local water authority “don’t worry your wells has get even less than that.” Except that was a lie

??: A lie #01:10:28

Rob Bilott: Yes. DuPont has been secretly testing these wells for decades. They knew they had contaminated those wells up to 6 times that level (1 part / billion on flipchart) #01:10:37 And based on the Tennant case we now know too.

David: This stuff is unregulated, right as far as EPA is concerned it might as well be rose petals.

Rob Bilott: EPA hasn’t set a standard that’s true, but DuPont did. And all the law requires to win a case like this is to show that DuPont exceeded what DuPont itself considered safe. Self regulation. #01:10:59


??: Why would DuPont tell this water water district anything at all? Seems to me they are being a good corporate citizen. #01:11:08

Rob Bilott: That’s how long you have to file suit (1 year on flip-chart). One year from the moment you realise your water has been contaminated. This letter looks like it is telling people their water is safe, in fact it is notifying them that it isn’t.  DuPont has started the clock #01:11:24

David : . . . would have cancelled that #01:11:28

Rob Bilott: It was sent eleven months ago, the moment they realised we knew.  In thirty days they are home free. #01:11:35

Tom Terp: So that’s the proposed case in brief. But there is something else to consider. #01:11:37

??: Do you think?

Rob Bilott: C8 accumulates it builds up inside of us. Some class members who aren’t sick today will get sick tomorrow. We need a way to check them into the future #01:11:52 (medical monitoring on flip-chart)

??: Jesus Tom if you are even thinking about Medical Monitoring … #01:11:54

Tom Terp: Hold on.

Rob Bilott: Medical Monitoring is a claim now permitted in West Virginia courts

Kim Burke : Let’s hear him out. #01:12:04

Rob Bilott: Says if a company exposes a community to something that makes them sick they must monitor the health of that community indefinitely. #01:12:11

??: You are creating liability from mere exposure.

??: It is also unprecedented

??: exactly

David: Which is why six months ago we fought tooth and nail against it.

Rob Bilott: And you lost. Our clients have the right to avail themselves of the law.#01:12:25

Tom Terp: Potential clients #01:12:27

Jay: OK, I know you Rob. I know your passion. You are a great f... to your family you should be proud of that and perhaps as the newest partner at the table I should be more circumspect. But what he is proposing here is nothing less than a shake-down of an iconic company. #01:12:54

Rob Bilott: We do not represent DuPont.

Jay: You don’t represent anyone. Is this what we we have become plaintiffs’ attorneys, ambulance chasers. Why don’t you just admit it Rob? You want to flip, to take everything that you know about how chemical companies operate and turn it against DuPont like an informant. #01:13:12

Tom Terp: That’s enough

Jay: Isn’t that right? Isn’t that right? #01:13:17

Rob Bilott: Yes

Jay: OK, then I say we take a vote and determine whether or not we continue in the tradition that distinguishes this firm from everyone else . . . #01:13:27

Tom Terp: I am running this meeting. OK? You got that? #01:13:31

Has anyone even read the evidence this man has collected? The wilful negligence, the corruption. Read it #01:13:34

And then tell me we should be sitting on our asses. That’s the reason why Americans take lawyers #01:13:47

It’s the crap that fuels the Ralph Naders of the world. We should want to nail DuPont. All of us should. #01:13:55

American business is better than this gentlemen. And when it’s not. We should hold them to it. That’s how you build faith in the system. We are always arguing that companies are people. Well these people have crossed the line. To hell with them.#01:14:14

~ ~ ~


Harry Dietzler: It may come as a surprise to you corporate defence types like yourself that there there is more to law than just blood on the other side and papers. From where I sit, you have to touch people. You know these girls they handle the calls from the class action members and there’s thousands of them on any given case, it’s here we come to know their pain ain’t that right ladies. #01:14:41

We hear it every day and it’s my job to make jury feel that pain not us. #01:14:48

But out of fear whatever it is that happens to my clients, that juror has to think that could happen to me. #01:14:56

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: You just keep hammering it 1 part per billion, 1 part per billion it’s their own documents, their own scientists . . .

Harry Dietzler: Absolutely!

Rob Bilott: They set the standard, they have to live with it. #01:15:05

Harry Dietzler: Yes, I think we can relax Rob. There is no way they are going to prevail the motion to dismiss. This is procedure, it is not science.We'll get a trial today.

Rob Bilott: OK catch you guys later #01:15:18

~ ~ ~

Wilbur Tennant: I wouldn’t drink that #01:15:18

Rob Bilott: Earl, how are you doing? #01:15:32

Wilbur Tennant: Still here. Looks I’m right. #01:15:32

Rob Bilott: Yes that’s something

Sarah Tennant: It’s good to see you Rob. #01:15:42

Wilbur Tennant: Can’t let them shut you down.

Rob Bilott: I won’t. I promise. #01:15:53

Wilbur Tennant: The whole world needs to know

Rob Bilott: They will Earl. They will #01:16:04

Harry Dietzler: Hey Rob. It’s time. #01:16:08

Rob Bilott: I have to go.

~ ~ ~

Judge: We are here on the defendant's motion to dismiss the case brought brought by Mr Kiger “et al.” Now which one of you is Mr Wallace? #01:16:38

Edward Wallace: Edward Wallace your honour on behalf of E I DuPont De Nemours and Company better known as DuPont. #01:16:44

Judge: Yes I have heard of it. Your motion?

Edward Wallace: Thank you, your honour we are here today because of the uniquely American invention, Teflon. Since 1961 Teflon has liberated housewives.

Judge: No, no, #01:16:59

Edward Wallace: Excuse me home . . .

Judge: This is a court room Mr Wallace, not the Home Shopping Network. #01:17:04

Edward Wallace: Plaintiff has pled that DuPont did not meet it’s own standard of safety with regard to the level of C8 in the local water supply. That’s irrelevant your honour. We ask you to dismiss on grounds that the only standard that matters is the one that elected government deem safe #01:17:23

Rob Bilott: Not if it is unregulated.

Edward Wallace: It is the government job to make these determinations not any one company. #01:17:28

Rob Bilott: You have to try revert back to it. #01:17:28

Harry Dietzler: I Got it.

Judge: Is there a problem Mr Dietzler

Harry Dietzler: Apologies your honour but DuPont has been hiding the dangers of this chemical from the government for a while now. And they are asking you to let them off the hook #01:17:42

Because they have succeeded in their strategy government doesn’t regulate C8.#01:17:45

Edward Wallace: Actually that’s not true #01:17:48

Harry Dietzler: Oh!

Edward Wallace: No, the West Virginia C8 working group has just issued a standard. Here with us today is the governmental official who led that effort, Dr Mary-Sue Kimball. #01:17:58

Edward Wallace: And Dr Kimball as a senior member of the state department of Environmental Protection. Isn’t it in fact your duty to protect the citizens of West Virginia.

Judge: Mr Wallace.

Edward Wallace: I’ll cut to the chase  What is the level of C8 in drinking water the state of West Virginia has determined to be completely safe? #01:18:20

Harry Dietzler: Go from one part per billion

Dr. Mary-Sue Kimball: 150 parts per billion #01:18:23

Edward Wallace: The levels found in the wells of all six water districts represented in this suit, do they fall below this maximum level?#01:18:30

Dr. Mary-Sue Kimball: Well below. #01:18:32

Edward Wallace: Nothing else your honour. #01:18:35

Judge: Your witness Mr Dietzler.

Rob Bilott: Wait who’s who’s on the working group? Who did the water tests?

Judge: Mr Dietzler

Rob Bilott: . . .

Harry Dietzler: One moment Judge.

Rob Bilott: What was the sample size?

Larry Winter: I mean we should be able to sue them. #01:18:46

Judge Going once. #01:18:47

Rob Bilott: Good job.

. . .

Judge Going twice. #01:18:50

Harry Dietzler: Dr Kimball who were the members of this cabal you call the C8 working group? #01:18:55

Edward Wallace: Objection, #01:18:56

Judge: Cool it. Mr Dietzler. #01:18:59

Judge: Go ahead Dr Kimball.

Dr. Mary-Sue Kimball: Agency officials, representatives of the scientific community, stake holders #01:19:07

Harry Dietzler: Stakeholders. Which stakeholders? Wait let me guess, it rhymes with bouffant.

Dr. Mary-Sue Kimball: DuPont is a stakeholder. Yes. #01:19:14

Harry Dietzler: Don’t you find it peculiar that on the eve of a class action law suit where DuPont might be considered to be liable for poisoning this community. They get you to come in here suddenly and reverse decades of their so called heralded science. #01:19:33

Dr. Mary-Sue Kimball: That’s false, I don’t work for DuPont #01:19:35

Harry Dietzler: I didn’t say you did. But now you bring it up we’ll check back in a month. #01:19:39

Edward Wallace: Your honour

Harry Dietzler: Your honour they are telling the community that they can drink 150 times more C8. Come on people, bottoms up. #01:19:48

Judge: Alright Mr Dietzler, enough. #01:19:51

Dr. Mary-Sue Kimball: We’ll be unveiling the new standard at the upcoming public hearing #01:19:56

Harry Dietzler: Alright sounds like a party. We’ll be there. #01:20:01

~ ~ ~

Harry Dietzler: Their safety standards say, that’s all a sham. Thanks to the judge’s decision we will have our day in court. #01:20:13

If the State of West Virginia won’t stop the DuPont Corporation from literally poisoning it’s citizens. Then we the citizens, will stop them ourselves. #01:20:23


Barbara TV announcer1: Good evening and welcome to 20/20. Well it coats the pots you cook with so that food doesn't stick, it protects the carpets your baby crawls on.#01:20:35

. . . we're talking about Teflon and tonight a 20/20 investigation uncovers alarming information about this much used material #01:20:48

TV announcer2: It is very alarming Barbara. I cook with Teflon. I didn’t know until I watched this report you are about to see that if Teflon gets hot enough

~ ~ ~

Millions of people have in their homes Is also used in clothing, in cars

Already found in the blood of most Americans “

Japanese” PFOA #01:21:08

Australia Teflon a non-stick surface

The environmental protection agency this morning announced that it had opened a priority review of the chemical C8 currently the subject of a class action law suit against the chemical giants DuPont. . . . #01:21:22

~ ~ ~

Diane Kiger: Joe #01:21:23

Diane Kiger: Wait for the fire Department. #01:21:30

~ ~ ~

triggered a mass panic among Chinese consumers . . #01:21:36

Throw away your non-stick pans that many experts

are your pans making you sick that’s the question we asked

Kitchen implements coated inTeflon.

~ ~ ~

Joe Kiger: The house was empty. It belonged to my father #01:21:48

Joe Kiger: I don’t know how it could have started. #01:21:51

Fire Captain: His name Kiger? Think someone might have got the wrong house? #01:21:54

~ ~ ~


Wilmington Delaware #01:22:07

All of this hullabaloo is just silly. Teflon is completely safe for cooking That is why we founded the “cook healthy campaign” To set the record straight and besides being completely safe it is also . . . #01:22:22

~ ~ ~

Guard: Copy that. All the way down. #01:22:32

~ ~ ~

We are now on the record, this is the video tape Charles O. Holliday Junior plaintiff in the matter of Kiger “et al” versus E I DuPont De Nemours and Company, Inc.,#01:23:45 (see #00:36:03 DuPont title)

Court Clerk: Raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Charles O. Holliday Junior: I do. #01:23:52 Rob Bilott: Please state your name.

Charles O. Holliday Junior: Charles O. Holliday Junior

Rob Bilott: And are you presently employed

Charles O. Holliday Junior: yes #01:24:03 Rob Bilott: What is your position?

Charles O. Holliday Junior: I am chairman and chief executive officer of the DuPont company. #01:24:09

Rob Bilott: In DuPont’s most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission you state quote ”based on over fifty years of industry experience and extensive scientific study DuPont believes that there is no evidence that PFOA causes any adverse human health effects or harms the environment.” You signed that legal file is that correct.#01:24:30

Charles O. Holliday Junior: I don’t recall the exact statement but that sounds right to me. #01:24:35

Rob Bilott: Are you aware that DuPont has in it’s own files, studies dating back to the 1970’s that say just the opposite. That PFOA or C8 as it is called had potentially life threatening effects on human health? #01:24:50

Charles O. Holliday Junior: I’m not familiar with the exact studies that we may have in our files. #01:24:52

Rob Bilott: Then I’ll take you through them, exhibit 9. You were just handed exhibit 9. #01:25:04 You see the date March Thirteenth Nineteen Seventy Nine, 13-Mar-1979,

Charles O. Holliday Junior: Yes

Rob Bilott: You see the DuPont logo at the top?

Charles O. Holliday Junior: Yes #01:25:11

Rob Bilott: Do you see this word here, highlighted “receptors” (memo 1ppb)

Charles O. Holliday Junior: Yes #01:25:15

Rob Bilott: Would you read it for me please?

Charles O. Holliday Junior: Receptors #01:25:18

Rob Bilott: Do you know what that word refers to? Receptors.

Charles O. Holliday Junior: Eh umm in this context I do not.#01:25:25

Rob Bilott: It means human beings. DuPont refers to the men and women that your company exposed to C8 as receptors. And in these receptors, your scientists found quote “significantly higher incidence of allergic endocrine and metabolic disorders.” end quote as well as quote “excess risk of developing liver disease” do you see that?

Charles O. Holliday Junior: Yes #01:25:50

Rob Bilott: Morever, infertility at Telon, occurrences of leukaemia, you have excess of cancers, bladder, oral, kidney. Next paragraph 78 do you see that heading? Do you see that date? Do you see that? Exhibit 96 #01:26:08 Exhibit 53, like to move onto birth defects #01:26:11 Mr Holliday you are aware that in 1981 3M notified Dupont that it had conducted studies on rats and these studies had shown that sustained C8 exposure can cause facial deformities. #01:26:25

Charles O. Holliday Junior: I’m not aware of it, the study by 3M.

Rob Bilott: How about DuPont’s own studies that showed the same thing in humans. That’s DuPonts pregnancy study from 1981 Does that look like a DuPont document?

Charles O. Holliday Junior: It looks to be.

Rob Bilott: Are you aware that DuPont has denied that any such study ever even took place? #01:26:47

Charles O. Holliday Junior: I am not familiar with specific statements we have made about that.

Rob Bilott: Seven, 7, pregnant women, all DuPont employees, all from the Teflon line. Do you see this here, quote, “Child 4 Months One nostril and eye defect.” end quote #01:27:00 (Child 4 Months One nostril and eye defect Baby’s blood 0.012 ppm.)

Charles O. Holliday Junior: Yes #01:27:08

Rob Bilott: Two, 2, of the seven women, nearly 30% gave babies that had the exact facial deformities that your company already knew . . .

Edward Wallace: We are done here #01:27:15

Rob Bilott: Sir, his parents named him Bucky. Bucky Bailey. #01:27:27 This is you receptor #01:27:31 Now we are done #01:27:40

~ ~ ~

Back ground narration: #01:29:17 . . . The Environmental Protection Agency has levied the largest fine in agency history against the chemical giant DuPont. The EPA concluded the company failed to report the health dangers of C8 used in the manufacture of Teflon. DuPont will pay the EPA USD Sixteen point five million, USD M16.5, it earns a billion dollars profit from Teflon each year. #01:29:38

~ ~ ~

?X: To recap. We agree that Dupont will clean water supplies installing filtration systems in all six water districts. Additionally DuPont will pay seventeen million in cash to the class.

Rob Bilott: 3 days revenue on the Teflon line. #01:29:58

?X: Which leaves our most challenging issue. Medical monitoring. We have agreed to establish an independent science panel to comprise of three scientists who have no relationship to either side. #01:30:11

This independent panel will study the members of this class, to determine whether C8 exposure has led to increased incidence of disease in this region. #01:30:21

If the panel finds that there are probable scientific links to a particular disease, the health of everyone in the class will be monitored for that disease, in perpetuity, at DuPont’s cost up to two hundred and thirty five ,235, million #01:30:35

And any class member who develops that disease can sue DuPont for damages. #01:30:40

However, if the science panel fail to establish probable scientific links, then this case is over, the monitoring, the lawsuits, no exceptions. #01:30:51

Good, well now gentlemen you are now officially you are now in the hands of science. #01:30:56

~ ~ ~

Harry Dietzler: Well the . . . is a Ma-tai guy #01:31:02

Rob Bilott: It’s festive. Harry Dietzler: Thank you for that

Rob Bilott: We have something to celebrate

Larry Winter: Do we? Look, how do we know that the panel is going to prove that DuPont made all these people sick? I’m no scientist but even I know you need huge amounts of medical data. Not to mention thousands of blood samples #01:31:24

Harry Dietzler: From people who don’t trust us. Hey folks we want to stick you with some needles. You wouldn’t mind would you. I know these people here. They are going to take the money and run. Wouldn’t you? #01:31:37

Rob Bilott: I think, I think they want just more than the money, they I think they want to know if they are going to get sick or not. Or if they have C8 in their blood what’s that gonna do to them and their families #01:31:49

Harry Dietzler: So we are gonna just trust that they show up.

Rob Bilott: Trust them, but verify it.

Larry Winter: What does that mean Rob? #01:31:57

Rob Bilott: Well, come in for an exam, umm, give us a blood sample. Then we’ll give you your cheques. #01:32:08

Harry Dietzler: On second thoughts make mine a ma-tai.

Larry Winter: All around, please. #01:32:14

Harry Dietzler: Rob Bilott where did you pull that out of? #01:32:18


Healthy drinking water is vital for all of us. That’s why scientists need to know if the chemical C8 is causing any health problems. Starting today you can help by completing a health questionnaire . . . #01:32:31

~ ~ ~

Doctor: Then we bring them back here. Draw the blood. Hand them a cheque. #01:33:24

Rob Bilott: Four hundred dollars?

Doctor: Each. . . . How you brought with you today Mrs Moran? Mrs Moran: My husband, my three kids and me. #01:33:32

Doctor: Two thousand dollars. Not too shabby, right before Xmas. #01:33:36

Ms Moran: Yeah, but they ain’t gonna find nothing. DuPont’s good people. You’ll see. #01:33:43

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: Hello, #01:34:16

Larry Winter: Rob you sitting down for this? Rob Bilott: Larry, what wrong?

Larry Winter: Sixty nine thousand.

Rob Bilott: Sixty nine thousand what?

Larry Winter: Sixty nine thousand people got tested. Sixty nine thousand do you realise how much data this is? It’s what we needed Rob, this is it. #01:34:27

Rob Bilott: Oh! My god. #01:34:30

Larry Winter: right all along my friend, Merry Xmas

Rob Bilott: Thank you #01:34:35

Sarah Billott: Who was that?. . .

Rob Bilott: You won’t believe …. #01:34:40

~ ~ ~




2009 Eleven years since the start of the Tennant case


Reverend: We are gathered here today to in remembrance of Wilbur Earl Tennant. #01:35:09 Sandra Tennant in wheelchair

~ ~ ~

Restaurant Customer : You’re that lawyer? My brother’s ? ?. #01:36:12 They took his blood, said you’d help him #01:36:14

Rob Bilott: Yeah, I did. We’re working on that I promise. #01:36:17

Restaurant Customer : He’s dead. Testicular cancer. Left three little boys younger than your’s. Enjoy your family #01:36:33

~ ~ ~

Joe Kiger: Darlene can’t even leave the house now. Being harassed, besides they blame us for suing DuPont. Now they hit on us because they ain’t seen nothing from it #01:37:27

Rob Bilott: Sorry Joe

Joe Kiger: Well That ain’t good enough. They wonder why in the hell it takes four damned years to read a lousy blood sample and I don’t blame them. We trusted you Rob. We put our faith in you. #01:37:41

Rob Bilott: I know Joe.

Joe Kiger: Alright. #01:37:44

~ ~ ~

Rob Bilott: Isn’t there just some kind of . . . a progress report, anything I that can share with these folks? I mean, they have been waiting. #01:37:58

?: I’m sorry, for the. Still in the process of analysing complex data and modelling from thousands of samples and medical histories. Sorry, could you hold a moment? #01:38:09

~ ~ ~


Rob Bilott: Can we still afford it? #01:38:57

Sarah Bilott: What?

Rob Bilott: Catholic school. Sarah Bilott: your mother’s back in . . . did you know that? #01:39:18

Rob Bilott: No. I’m sorry. Sarah Bilott: Today is mum’s first day at chemo.

Rob Bilott: Forgot.

Sarah Bilott: It’s not about your case Rob. Car #01:39:33

. . .

Have I ever complained? #01:39:57 Say something for god sake. Rob! #01:40:03

Rob Bilott: No

Sarah Bilott: No Rob Bilott: No #01:40:06

Sarah Bilott: Because I knew that you needed something, to have some connection . . .

something . . . and so I could get on. But if you are going to start with accounting, gonna start with if can we afford this . . . then I don‘t know Rob. #01:40:27

Can the boys afford a father who can’t string two words together? Can our marriage afford thirteen years of this?

How about it Rob do you want to talk about it? Is that a life. Course not. Tell mum . . . ?? #01:40:50

~ ~ ~


Tom Terp: What in god’s name is that panel doing? Why are we still getting billed? #01:40:55

Rob Bilott: Overheads . . eh . . . Local counsels, Harry’s calls #01:40:57

Tom Terp: A thousand dollars an hour. #01:41:02

Rob Bilott: That was a technical expert. We needed to do filings when DuPont started lobbying Washington.

Tom Terp: That’s Washington’s problem, not ours. That’s why you got them involved. Remember? #01:41:10

Rob Bilott: It’s fine Tom. Sixteen million, it’s nothing for these people, it’s pocket change

Tom Terp: Yes. But what if they get charged with criminal concealment game over. You said the D o J was investigating #01:41:10

Rob Bilott: Not any more

Tom Terp: What?

Rob Bilott: They dropped the investigation

Tom Terp: What?

Rob Bilott: They dropped it. No reason given. Tom our government is captive to DuPont. This case is the only hope we have. They know that and they are trying to make it as expensive as they can to force you to make me stop #01:41:42

Tom Terp: Just tell me how much longer. #01:41:46

Rob Bilott: I can’t. I … I wish I could #01:41:49

Tom Terp: Tom you OK? Rob I’m the managing partner now. I have a firm to run. #01:41:53

Rob Bilott: I know Tom and I think there could be a huge payoff here

Tom Terp: You think I’m in this for money?

Rob Bilott: No. #01:42:06

Tom Terp: You think I’m letting you drag this firm’s reputation through a meat grinder because we have got some king of plaintiff’s payoff. #01:42:13

Rob Bilott: I don’t know why you are doing this.

Tom Terp: Rob I’m sorry but you are going to have to take another pay-cut.

Rob Bilott: Tom that’s my fourth pay cut #01:42:41

~ ~ ~

Doctor: We think you husband has most likely has experienced a TIA, a transient ischaemic attack. Blood is briefly cut off to the brain and the beginning symptoms of a stroke #01:43:29

Tom Terp: Excuse me. A TIA. This wasn’t short . . . he kept going on.

Sarah Bilott: What about poisons?

Doctor: I’m sorry? #01:43:39

Sarah Bilott: Could someone be poisoning him?

Doctor: No Mrs Bilott. This is neurological. #01:43:46

Sarah Bilott: You just said it wasn’t a stroke?

Doctor: Well not this time #01:43:50

Sarah Bilott: What does that mean?

Doctor: Well it means he need his medication and needs to reduce all sources of stress in his life #01:43:56

Sarah Bilott: He’s under enormous pressure at work.

Doctor: Well that needs to change. He’s a young man, he shouldn’t be having these incidences. He's sedated but you can see him. #01:44:08

Sarah Bilott: Yes.

Doctor: I’ll check on him tomorrow #01:44:10

Sarah Bilott: Thank you. #01:44:11

~ ~ ~

Tom Terp: Well, I’ll give you some privacy. Anything you need call #01:44:26

Sarah Bilott: I need you to stop you making him feel like a failure. #01:44:31

Tom Terp: I appreciate the stress that your family must be going through.

Sarah Bilott: Please don’t talk like I’m a wife. Did Rob ever tell you about moving around as a kid? #01:44:52

Tom Terp: I … .

Sarah Bilott: Ten times in fourteen years, no friends, no ties, just him, his sister, folks. Then I came along, you came along. See Taft is not just a job, to him it is home. And he was willing to risk all that for a stranger who needed help. Now you and I may not know what that is, but it is not failure. #01:45:31

~ ~ ~


#01:46:59 Visits fuel filling station.

Bucky Bailey: Hey do you know the score? The game? Sorry my radio is busted. #01:47:16

Cameo #01:47:16 Bucky Bailey

Rob Bilott: Sorry. #01:47:21

Bucky Bailey: Don’t worry about it. It’ll be a surprise.

Ms Bailey: Bucky, Come on. We’ll be late. #01:47:25

Bucky Bailey: Have a good one. #01:47:28

~ ~ ~

Bill Leerie: Hey Rob. Bill Leerie … listen we need to talk about your un-billed hours and these non re-imbursable. #01:49:15 (receiver put down)

Rob Bilott: Hello #01:49:33

Dr Karen Frank: Mr Billott, Rob Bilott: Yes. #01:49:35

Dr Karen Frank: I guess I should start by apologising for taking, well seven years to call you. Rob Bilott: Who’s this? Dr Karen Frank: Oh. Yes of course it is Dr Karen Frank from . . .

Rob Bilott: the Science Panel

Dr Karen Frank: I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting as long

Rob Bilott: Please er .. just tell me what’s happened, what’s happening what you have found out. #01:49:52

Dr Karen Frank: You gave us an unprecedented amount of data. The largest epidemiological study in human history. It is irrefutable, we have have that link sustained exposure to C8 to six categories of serious illness. #01:50:16

Three thousand five hundred and thirty five people in the class already have these diseases.

Many more will develop them. Thanks to you the entire class will be monitored. #01:50:41 And those who get sick can seek restitution. You did a good thing here Mr Bilott. You did good. #1:50:50

Rob Bilott: Thank you #01:50:53 ~ ~ ~ #01:52:19 Larry Winter call

Sarah Bilott: Rob. What happened? Rob #01:52:51

Rob Bilott: DuPont’s are reneging #01:52:56

Sarah Bilott: Which part?

Rob Bilott: All of it. They are tearing up our agreement. Rejecting the Science Panel. They are going to fight every claim in court, thousands of claims. People, sick people they’ll give up. They can’t fight DuPont. #01:53:12

Sarah Bilott: You can go back They can’t go back on everything

Rob Bilott: They’re a titan of industry, they can do whatever the hell they want. Nothing else matters. #01:53:21

Sarah Bilott: They can’t take away from what you’ve done. #01:53:25

Rob Bilott: Of course it does. That’s exactly what it does. They want to show the world it is no use fighting. Look everybody even he can’t crack the maze. And he helped build it. The system is rigged. They want us to think it’ll protect us but that’s a lie, we protect us, we do. Nobody else. Not the companies, not the scientists, not the government, us. #01:53:51

A farmer with a twelfth grade education told me that. On day one he knew, and I thought he was crazy. He wasn’t that crazy #01:54:12

~ ~ ~

2015 Columbus Ohio

Clerk of court: All rise. The honourable Timothy Bird, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio presiding. This court is now in session. #01:55:29

. . . please be seated. And we are here this morning for a jury trial. #01:55:44

Judge Timothy Bird: So three thousand five hundred and thirty five claims at the rate of four or five cases a year we can all expect to be here, well ‘til the year 2890. If we’re lucky, I guess we’d better get started. #01:56:00

Mrs . . . is your attorney present?

Rob Bilott: Good morning your honour. Rob Bilott for the plaintiff. #01:56:00

Judge Timothy Bird: Uh! Still here, huh?

Rob Bilott: Still here #01:56:11

In the first of these cases , Rob won a jury award of $1.6 million. #01:56:11

In the second $5.6 million. #01:56:16

In the third $12.5 million. #01:56:20

DuPont finally settled all 3535 cases for $670.7 million. #01:56:24

PFOA is believed to be in the blood of virtually every living creature on the planet #01:56:29 including 99% of humans #01:56:35

Today as a result of Rob’s work, there are growing movements around the world to ban PFOA and to investigate over 600 related “forever chemicals” #01:56:41

. . . nearly all unregulated #01:56:44 And more than twenty years after Wilbur Tennant first walked through his door . . . #01:56:53 Rob Bilott is still fighting

End #01:58:44

# # #


Sarah and Rob Bilott #00:31:16

Jim Tennant (Wilbur’s brother) #00:39:09

Darlene and Joe Kiger #00:43:17

Bucky Bailey #01:47:16

# # #