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June 24, 2020, 01:21 PM EDT SAN DIEGO — Today, the national law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. announced a proposed nationwide class action settlement with Monsanto Company, Pharmacia, LLC, and Solutia, Inc. for $648 million, resolving national PCB water contamination claims for a proposed class of 2,528 governmental entities, and includes attorneys’ fees and costs. Baron & Budd also announced a separate $95 million settlement on behalf of the State of Washington for PCB contamination in the state.
Legal motions to approve the proposed settlement class have been filed in federal court in the Central District of California, in a case before Judge Fernando M. Olguin. Baron & Budd’s attorneys have filed over a dozen lawsuits on behalf of governmental entities since March 2015 seeking cost recovery for stormwater and environmental contamination that the Plaintiffs allege to have been caused by chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which Monsanto manufactured between the 1930s and 1977. The cases were collectively litigated for over 5 years and were mediated and resolved through JAMS Mediator Judge (Ret.) Jay Gandhi.
“PCBs make their way to precious waters and ecosystems across America through stormwater systems,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder Scott Summy. “This national resolution will provide relief to those public entities who operate stormwater systems and are facing environmental regulatory orders related to PCBs, which in turn will help protect the long-term viability of American waters.”
“We are proud to represent the cities, counties, and ports that stood up for America’s waterways and for the health and safety of communities all across America,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder John Fiske. “As proposed Lead Class Counsel, we are eager to get these funds in the hands of local government to help protect their community resources.”
The proposed class action must be approved by Judge Olguin prior to providing payments to the governmental entity class members. The proposed class action will provide all class members with a monetary benefit and will additionally provide funds for those governmental entities that have incurred or will incur significant expenses to protect and remediate America’s waterways, sediment, and stormwater systems.
The settling named class plaintiffs leading the nationwide resolution include the City of Spokane, City of Tacoma, the City of Portland, the Port of Portland, the City of Berkeley, the City of Oakland, the City of San Jose, County of Los Angeles, City of Long Beach, City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, City of Baltimore, and Baltimore County.
Baron & Budd, P.C. is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than 40 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States. As a law firm that takes pride in remaining at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant cases for hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Since the firm was founded in 1977, Baron & Budd has achieved substantial national acclaim for its work on cutting-edge litigation, trying hundreds of cases to verdict and settling tens of thousands of cases in areas of litigation as diverse and significant as dangerous and highly addictive pharmaceuticals, defective medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, California wildfires and environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, motor vehicles, federal whistleblower cases, and other consumer fraud issues.