West Coast US Cities Sue Monsanto over Toxic Chemicals

West Coast US Cities Sue Monsanto over Toxic Chemicals (Source wsws.org) Seattle, Washington became the latest addition to the list of cities filing lawsuits against multinational corporation Monsanto, joining San Diego, San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley in California, along with Spokane, Washington. These efforts, led by San Diego-based law firm Gomez Trial Attorneys, aim to extract tens of millions of dollars from the agrochemical company for knowingly promoting the severely hazardous line of polychlorinated biphenyls, more commonly known as PCBs. The Seattle lawsuit holds the corporation responsible for PCB contamination that finds its way into the city’s storm water that flows into the Lower Duwamish River, designated a federal Superfund site because of its high levels of pollution and the high cost of cleanup. These lawsuits are based on a precedent set last year in a California case against lead paint manufacturers in which the prosecution won a $1.15 billion judgment using a new application of California’s “public nuisance” law. Under the ruling, liability was imposed against the defendant companies because they had actively sold and promoted lead paint with actual or constructive knowledge about its health hazards.

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