If major corporations are causing widespread damage to the environment and to the health of others, they should absolutely be held liable. In DuPont's $50 million settlement case, the company contaminated more than 100 miles of river and floodplain with mercury. That kind of damage doesn't go away overnight, and mercury is harmful to animal and plant life as well as to humans. Trying to remedy it takes a lot of time and a lot of resources, and since Dupont is responsible, they should cover it.
Every person has the responsibility of the safety of their fellow inhabitants, and being a faceless corporation does not mean you are an exception to the rule. If you are risking the health of the workers or those who live near your facilities, you should be held 100% accountable for this.
If a person does something that injures their neighbor, the person has to pay damages. That is the basics of tort law. In this case, a major corporation should be liable if their actions hurt others. Each person in this country has individual rights. There is no person that should suffer for the greater good.
Major corporations use their money and influence to wield tremendous power in Washington, D.C. The company CEOs lobby to obtain legislation that is favorable to their efforts and machinations. And when the impact of their actions leads to environmental harm and health issues, they use this clout to avoid responsibility. This is wrong and unfair.