A jury has awarded three plaintiffs $17.5 million in damages caused by negligence in the production of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by Monsanto and three other companies. In addition, Monsanto, Pfizer, Solutia, and Pharmacia were ordered to pay the plaintiffs an additional $29 million in punitive damages for continuing to sell PCBs after the chemical compound had been banned. The plaintiffs, some of whom died, claimed they develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma from exposure to PCBs. The compound is commonly used in food packaging, paints, and to insulate electronics. They were manufactured exclusively by Monsanto from 1935-1977, and were eventually banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1979, after being linked to cancer and birth defects. The lawsuit stated that despite the obvious dangers, Monsanto continued to sell the product after the government ban, claiming they were safe for use by the general public. Internal company documents show that Monsanto knew about the risks long before the ban was placed, including the fact that PCBs have the ability to survive in the environment for long periods of time. “We know Aroclors (PCBs) are toxic, but the actual limit has not been precisely defined.” Stated one such document. This major win for victims of Monsanto products is said to be turning the tide against Monsanto. It has been speculated that similar lawsuits in the past have been unsuccessful simply because the plaintiffs have not had the money to continue fighting the pharmaceutical giant. “All of us could pretty much agree that Monsanto was negligent,” said one of the jurors in the case. “I think it goes to show that large companies can put stuff out there that’s harmful and they can do it for a long time but that justice is going to be served whether it’s a year after the products are put out, or in this case, 80 years.” So far, five cities in California have pending litigation against Monsanto- Long Beach, Berkeley, San Diego, San Jose, and Oakland. A lawsuit was previously brought about in Los Angeles, but was unsuccessful.
If you or a loved one have suffered personal injury or wrongful death due to contaminated products manufactured by large companies like Monsanto, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.