Robert Bilott ’83, Attorney Who Became ‘DuPont’s Worst Nightmare’ to Speak at New Topics Discussion

Robert Bilott was a corporate defense attorney at one of Ohio’s top firms when he got a call from a West Virginia farmer, who told Bilott that his cows were dying, and he believed a DuPont dump next to his farm was the reason.

Robert Bilott

That was in 1998. In 2001, Bilott filed a class-action lawsuit against DuPont on behalf of 70,000 people. In 2004, DuPont settled for more than $300 million. Trials in related cases continue today.

Bilott, an attorney and 1983 graduate of New College of Florida, was profiled in The New York Times Magazine in January 2016, in an article headlined “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.”

On Thursday evening at New College, Bilott will provide insights into the various scientific, legal, and regulatory challenges facing communities exposed to emerging or currently unregulated contaminants in their drinking water.

The talk is part of the College’s “New Topics” lecture and discussion series. Admission is free but reservations are strongly recommended.

In his talk, Bilott will draw upon his nearly two decades of experience handling issues involving perfluorochemical contamination of drinking water supplies across the country, to highlight and explain the ways in which these various challenges affect our ability to fully understand the nature of the chemicals we are exposed to in our water, and our ability to address any health risks associated with those exposures.

Robert Bilott, attorney, partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister

“Scientific, Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Investigating and Addressing Health Threats from Unregulated Drinking Water Contaminants: The Case of Perfluorochemicals”

Thursday, February 15, at 5:30 p.m.

Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road

Admission is free; for reservations, call 487-4888 or visit


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