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Monsanto to Pay Verdicts and Settlements for PCB Pollution

 Posted on January 18, 2024 in Car Accidents

Blog ImageThere have been numerous cases in recent years in which large chemical companies have been required to pay compensation to people who have been affected by toxic substances that have been released into the environment. Monsanto is a prominent example, and it has been facing increasing scrutiny and legal action regarding its role in the pollution caused by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). People who have suffered health issues because of these or other chemicals will want to understand their legal options as they seek to hold a company responsible for causing them harm, and they can do so with the help of an experienced attorney.

Recent PCB-Related Cases Involving Monsanto

In recent months, Monsanto has faced legal action related to PCBs in multiple states. In December of 2023, a jury in Washington ordered Monsanto to pay $857 million to people affected by PCB contamination in light fixtures at a school. Five students and two parent volunteers were affected by the chemicals when water dripped from the fixtures, and many of them became sick. The jury in the case ordered Monsanto to pay $73 million in compensatory damages and $784 million in punitive damages.

Monsanto has also faced legal challenges from multiple states regarding PCB pollution. In September of 2023, the company agreed to a $100 million settlement with the state of Pennsylvania for PCB contamination in lakes and streams throughout the state over multiple decades. Similar cases have also arisen in other states, with New Jersey taking legal action to address PCB pollution and the company agreeing to a $698 million settlement with Oregon in 2022.

Understanding PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of man-made chemicals that were widely used during much of the 20th century until they were banned by the United States in 1979 due to their harmful effects on human health and the environment. They were commonly used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment like transformers, capacitors, and fluorescent light ballasts.

PCBs are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), meaning they do not easily break down over time. This persistence has led to widespread contamination of soil, air, water, and food chains. Due to their chemical stability, PCB molecules can remain active for decades or even centuries before breaking down.

The Impact of PCB Exposure

Prolonged exposure or ingestion of PCB compounds can have severe health consequences for both humans and animals. These harmful effects include:

  • Cancer: Research has shown that exposure to PCBs can increase the risk of developing various forms of cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma.

  • Reproductive issues: Studies have linked PCB exposure to lower fertility rates among women exposed to PCBs. Additionally, exposure to PCBs during pregnancy can lead to developmental issues in the fetus such as low birth weight and cognitive impairments.

  • Immune system dysfunction: PCB exposure may decrease the body’s immune response, resulting in increased susceptibility to infections and autoimmune disorders.

  • Neurological disorders: Several studies have suggested a potential link between PCB exposure and neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and learning disabilities. PCBs may also affect short-term memory, visual recognition, and neurological development.

Contact Our Allegheny County, PA PCB Exposure Attorneys

If you or your family have been affected by PCB pollution, you may be able to take action against Monsanto or other companies who were responsible for releasing these chemicals into the environment. At Colianni & Leonard LLC, our experienced Pittsburgh, PA toxic chemical injury lawyers can help you determine the best steps to take to address the harmful effects you have experienced. We will guide you through the process of taking legal action, advocating on your behalf to help you secure compensation for the damages you have suffered as a result of corporate negligence. Contact us today at 412-680-7877 to discuss your case in a free consultation.

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