Missouri Court Rejects Monsanto Claim that It Had No Duty to Cancer Victims; Allen Stewart, P.C. Announces Appellate Victory for

  Missouri Court Rejects Monsanto Claim that It Had No Duty to Cancer Victims;
  Allen Stewart, P.C. Announces Appellate Victory for Plaintiffs in PCB-Cancer
  Case

Business Wire

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- July 24, 2013

Attorneys at Dallas-based Allen Stewart, P.C. have announced that a panel of
three judges from Missouri’s Eastern District Court of Appeals have
unanimously rejected Monsanto’s claim that the PCB producer owed no duty to
individuals who developed Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from exposure to toxic PCBs
(polychlorinated biphenyls). Reversing a decision by a St. Louis County trial
court, the court of appeals found that there was enough evidence to take
Monsanto to trial.

The case represents the first time that injured victims have sought to hold a
company accountable for producing a chemical that has contaminated the entire
planet, including every person in the United States. The plaintiffs are three
lymphoma patients who each have elevated levels of PCBs in their blood. The
original Monsanto Co. (now known as “Pharmacia Corp.”) produced more than 99%
of all of the PCBs ever used in the United States. Because PCBs are far more
persistent in the environment than most other chemicals, PCBs are now a
ubiquitous environmental contaminant. Today, PCBs can be found in measurable
levels in virtually any sample of soil or air, and also in the food chain.
PCBs contaminate fish, dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, and eggs.

Despite the high PCB blood levels measured in the three plaintiffs, they had
no occupational exposures to PCBs, and they had no known exposures to PCBs
released from a particular industrial facility. Instead, the plaintiffs were
exposed in the same way that the entire population is also exposed to PCBs –
through their diet and daily exposures to small amounts of PCBs in the general
environment.

These three plaintiffs are the first in a group of approximately 600-700
plaintiffs with lawsuits against Monsanto based on the same allegations of
high PCB levels and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer confirmed that PCBs,
which have been banned in the United States since 1979, are a known human
carcinogen. More than 10 published scientific studies have shown that, among
the general population, people with higher levels of PCBs in their body are
significantly more likely to develop Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The court of appeals found that it was foreseeable that Monsanto’s production
and marketing of PCBs, which “by design, would not easily degrade in the
environment,” would result in injuries of the type suffered by the plaintiffs
in this case.

“We showed the court that Monsanto was the only one who could have stopped
PCBs from contaminating the entire environment and ultimately causing the
plaintiffs’ cancers,” said Steve Baughman Jensen of Allen Stewart, P.C., “only
Monsanto had control over the decision to market PCBs—knowing that they would
eventually be released and expose communities to these carcinogens.”

Monsanto will now ask the Missouri Supreme Court to review the decision. If
the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, it will likely be set for trial
some time in 2014.

In addition to being represented by Allen Stewart, P.C., the three plaintiffs
are also represented by Houston law firm Williams, Kherkher, LLP, Dallas/Los
Angeles law firm Waters & Kraus, LLP, and The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis.

Contact:

Allen Stewart, P.C.
Steve Baughman Jensen, 214-965-8700
 
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