The State of Washington recently filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for PCB (polychloride biphenyls) pollution, which caused severe toxic damage to state environment, food, and water sources.
At a news conference in Seattle, Attorney General Bob Ferguson stated, “It is time to hold the sole manufacturer of PCBs accountable for the significant harm they have caused to our state.” The state of Washington has already spent millions of dollars attempting to clean PCBs pollution. PBCs were used from the 1930s until 1979 for a base in many industrial paints, solvents and sealants until it was later found to cause severe nerve and reproductive damage to humans and cause cancer in animals. Ferguson claims that the state may be able to claim several hundred of millions of dollars in damages based based on product liability and other charges.
However, Monsanto claims that the case has is frivolous. Monsanto spokesman, Scott S. Partridge, stated “PCBs have not been produced in the U.S. for four decades, and Washington is now pursuing a case on a contingency fee basis that departs from settled law both in Washington and across the country. Most of the prior cases filed by the same contingency fee lawyers have been dismissed, and Monsanto believes this case similarly lacks merit.”
Ferguson voiced the widespread effects of PCBs on Washington, stating, “PCBs have been found in bays, rivers, streams, sediment, soil and air throughout Washington state, with more than 600 suspected or confirmed contamination sites from Puget Sound to the Wenatchee River, Lake Spokane to Commencement Bay.”
Ferguson also noted that Monsanto likely knew about the dangers of their product for years, citing a Monsanto memo that read, “There is little probability that any action that can be taken will prevent the growing incrimination of specific polychlorinated biphenyls… as nearly global environmental contaminants leading to contamination of human food (particularly fish), the killing of some marine species (shrimp), and the possible extinction of several species of fish eating birds.”