A Pain in the Anniston
The number of plaintiffs in a lawsuit against pesticide and food giant Monsanto will dwindle following an Alabama county court ruling that only people who have actually become sick, allegedly from PCB poisoning, have standing in the trial. The plaintiffs contend that Monsanto and its spin-off company, Solutia Inc., were cognizant of the health hazards posed by PCBs but did nothing to stop them from leaking off a plant site in Anniston, Ala., for dozens of years. Lawyers for the plaintiffs are comparing the case to an earlier one against the tobacco industry, while Monsanto’s reps argue that there is no evidence linking PCBs to problems in Anniston and that the company ceased production of the toxic compound before it was legally required to do so. More than 3,500 Anniston residents filed the suit; it is unclear how many will remain in light of the ruling.