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DuPont: Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

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DuPont fined over safety data on Teflon chemical

Risks of possible carcinogen lead to largest ever fine.


Chemical titan DuPont will pay the largest ever civil administrative penalty levied by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The fine - $10.25 million - relates to alleged infractions concerning the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).


PFOA, a possible carcinogen, is used to make several DuPont products, including Teflon non-stick coating for cookware. Most of the charges involve the company's failure to inform the agency about data on the chemical's risks.


Under the 14 December agreement, DuPont will also spend $6.25 million on related research, such as determining whether and how any of its products can break down to form PFOA. Further funds will go towards a green-chemistry project in schools in Wood County, West Virginia, the site of one of DuPont's chemical plants.


Of course this will probably do nothing to Dupont in the long run, but I still enjoy seeing the huge chemical company take a hit.


Stick to cast iron, yall.


*Edited in the hopes of starting discussion, didn't leave much to debate above.

Do you all think that these sorts of measures are usually adequate, or is more accountability necessary to get the point across to companies like DuPont (which I hate more than just about any other mega industrial company)? What about the effect these sorts of things have on the advancement of technology and the well being of industry/ the economy? Should there be some sort of more mediated process that will still allow flex room for corporations to function at normal levels (without the burdens of fines and what not, technology can advance more quickly), or would that merely foster an environment that allows them to shit all over everyone with impunity?

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fuck, i knew that teflon was fucked. my old roommates cooked with it all the time. i am just fine with my stainless steel kitchen set.

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Corporate fines are mind-boggling. DuPont made how much selling Teflon products? Billions? And the fine comes to $16 million or so?

The best one, I forgot the details, but basically a phone company "crammed" a fake charge onto everyone's bill. Those who noticed and complained got it refunded. Most customers just paid the bill with the fake charge. The phone company scammed a lot off of that one, and was caught. But the fine came to less than they scammed.

"Hey, you stole millions from your customers...your punishment is, you have to pay SOME of it back."

How is that a deterrent?

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Guest Sparoism

Jury awards millions to Wal-Mart workers

California workers claimed they were denied lunch breaks


Friday, December 23, 2005; Posted: 12:00 a.m. EST (05:00 GMT)



Wal-Mart loses lunch break lawsuit (1:02)


Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated

or Create Your Own

Manage Alerts | What Is This?


OAKLAND, California (AP) -- A California jury on Thursday awarded $172 million to thousands of employees at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. who claimed they were illegally denied lunch breaks.


The world's largest retailer was ordered to pay $57 million in general damages and $115 million in punitive damages to about 116,000 current and former California employees for violating a 2001 state law that requires employers to give 30-minute, unpaid lunch breaks to employees who work at least six hours.


The damages were originally tallied as $207 million after a court clerk misread the punitive damages as $150 million. The amount of punitive damages was later clarified. (Watch the facts of the case -- 1:02)


The class-action lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court is one of about 40 nationwide alleging workplace violations by Wal-Mart, and the first to go to trial. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, which earned $10 billion last year, settled a similar lawsuit in Colorado for $50 million.


In the California lunch-break suit, Wal-Mart claimed that workers did not demand penalty wages on a timely basis. Under the law, the company must pay workers a full hour's wages for every missed lunch.


The company also said it paid some employees their penalty pay and, in 2003, most workers agreed to waive their meal periods as the law allows.


The lawsuit covers former and current employees in California from 2001 to 2005. The workers claimed they were owed more than $66 million plus interest, and sought damages to punish the company for alleged wrongdoing.


Attorney Fred Furth, who brought the case on behalf of the workers, said outside court that the jury "held Wal-Mart to account."


Wal-Mart attorney Neal Manne said the jury's verdict, reached after nearly three days of deliberations and four months of testimony, would likely be appealed.


He claimed the state law in question could only be enforced by California regulators, not by workers in a courtroom. He added that Wal-Mart did not believe the lunch law allowed for punitive damages.


"We absolutely disagree with their findings," Manne said of the jury's verdict. He conceded that Wal-Mart made mistakes in not always allowing for lunch breaks when the 2001 law took affect, but said the company is "100 percent" in compliance now.


The lawsuit was filed by several former Wal-Mart employees in the San Francisco Bay area in 2001, but it took four years of legal wrangling to get to trial.


The verdict comes as the company is waging an intense public-relations campaign to counter critics aiming to stop the retailer's expansion and make it boost workers' salaries and benefits.


Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com, an union-affiliated advocacy group that believes Wal-Mart's policies over wages, health benefits and other issues harm families and communities, said he was delighted by the verdict.


"It is a sad day when Wal-Mart provides these so-called low prices by exploiting their workers and even the law," Blank said.


The company added lower-cost health insurance this year after an internal memo surfaced that showed 46 percent of Wal-Mart employees' children were on Medicaid or uninsured.


A federal lawsuit pending in San Francisco accuses the company of paying men more than women.




The US District Court case is comprised of over 1.6 MILLION female employees who never recieved equal promotions as a result of discrimination by Wal-mart, and is the largest class action in US history.


I guess they may have to raise their prices, soon....

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those people are nuts.

they own delaware.

you should see this state.

they have a cement wall around their estate with broken glass embedded in it to keep people out or in...not sure.


the zoobies are coming.

they're coming to kill.

you better believe me.

when i tell you they will.

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Guest Sparoism

duPont made napalm, BTW.


Teflon is one of their other military contracts, as well.


I love the smell of napalm cooking in a teflon pan in the morning.

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i use stainless, but my mom has teflon stuff, and i got to say... its pretty awesome......


clearly this is inadequate "punishment" but there is no way a fine more in line w/ the amount profited would be put in place. billions in profits, yeah, billions in our economy, and truth be told "they" don't really care about the consumer anyway, the 16 mil covers the investigations and legal fees...

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