Alabama PCB Suits End in $700 Million Settlement

Monsanto Co. and its spin-off enterprise, Solutia, agreed yesterday to pay $700 million to settle state and federal lawsuits concerning five decades of PCB pollution in Anniston, Ala. From the 1930s to the 1970s, Monsanto (and later Solutia) used a plant in Anniston to produce PCBs, which are now banned in the U.S. because they are associated with health problems ranging from learning disabilities to cancer. The settlement involves two separate trials and more than 20,000 plaintiffs, who accused the companies of contaminating their bodies and properties with PCBs. In addition to the monetary settlement, the companies will fund an education trust, community development, cleanup and remediation, and a clinic and research facility in Anniston specializing in environmental medicine and providing some free medical care.