Chemical giant Monsanto and its spin-off company Solutia are legally responsible for polluting the town of Anniston, Ala., with PCBs, a jury ruled Friday morning. The verdict represents an initial victory for the people of Anniston, but the battle is far from over: Some 3,500 individual claims of illness and financial loss have yet to be tried in this case alone, and all told, more than 25,000 people have sued or are suing the companies from damages related to PCB production in the area. The folks at Solutia said they were “disappointed” by the jury’s unanimous ruling of guilt on charges of negligence, wantonness, fraud, trespass, nuisance, and outrage. Monsanto’s legal team has asked the judge to dismiss the claims of 2,042 plaintiffs it says have no detectable PCBs in their blood or have not been tested. Anniston’s Monsanto-owned chemical company produced PCBs from 1935 to 1971.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.