When Jim Ferraro was approached early in his law career to take on the chemical giant DuPont, he knew it was going to be an uphill climb. All of the larger law firms before him --- all with much more financial support --- had turned down the case, and no lawyer in history had ever successfully prosecuted a chemical company for causing a birth defect. But as Donna Castillo sat in Jim’s office sharing her heartbreaking story of how her child was born with no eyes after she was accidentally doused by a chemical fungicide while pregnant, Jim knew he had to stand up and take the case.
After the decade-long courtroom battle, which took millions of dollars, 15 scientists and endless, sleepless nights for Jim, justice prevailed and he won. Jim’s first-hand account of this case is detailed in his book, Blindsided, available in bookstores everywhere now. His powerful message can also be seen in the video below:
The Castillo-vs.-DuPont case still goes down in history as the first and one of the most important of it’s kind, because it set the precedent for stricter environmental laws and the questionable use of the “junk science defense” in the courtroom.
Donna Castillo was merely walking past a strawberry u-pick-it farm, when her exposure to DuPont’s chemical changed the course of her and her unborn child’s life --- forever. This could have happened to any one of us, and Jim’s mission is to spread awareness about the toxic chemicals that we are exposed to without sufficient warning every day.
In the midst of current cases like the Flint water crisis, unregulated asbestos exposure, and frightening chemical exposures like the one the Castillos suffered, Jim is on a crusade to change the laws that allow these dangerous chemicals to exist. Now more than ever, with critical regulatory changes happening with the EPA, it’s time for us to stand with Jim and fight for our environment and our health.
"The chemical giants of the world will continue to compromise our safety and our environment for the sake of making money—unless we put an end to it," Ferraro said. "If I can singlehandedly defeat Dupont, imagine the change we could make if we all make a stand together."