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Lawsuit to Hold Monsanto Accountable for Use of Dangerous Chemical in School Construction Materials
DALLAS –(May 14, 2014) –Scott Summy, shareholder at Baron and Budd, has filed a lawsuit against the Monsanto Company and its corporate successors on behalf of the Town of Westport and Westport Community Schools in Massachusetts. The lawsuit pertains to the use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in schools. According to the court documents, Monsanto allegedly knew about the dangers of PCBs for decades, but failed to warn people of these dangers. The goal of the lawsuit is to force Monsanto to pay for the removal of the PCBs from the schools. Attorney Richard M. Sandman of Rodman, Rodman & Sandman, P.C., and Robert Gordon of Weitz & Luxenberg also serve as co-counsel in the lawsuit.
“Students and teachers should not be exposed to PCB on a daily basis while at school." said Scott Summy of Baron and Budd. “Monsanto knew that PCB was being added to construction materials that we being used extensively in public schools, and did nothing about it. Now, it’s time for Monsanto to foot the bill to take that same hazardous material out of our schools.”
In May 2011, elevated levels of PCBs were first detected in Westport Middle School. The levels exceeded the minimum safety levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
According to the EPA, PCBs are probable human carcinogens and can have serious toxic effects on a person’s immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive system, particularly in developing school children.
Unfortunately, PCBs in Westport is only the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of schools across America likely contain PCB. However, because there is no requirement to test, many schools aren’t aware of its existence. PCBs are synthetic chemicals that were widely used in numerous construction materials from the early 1950s until the chemical was banned in the late 1970s. PCB-contaminated materials were primarily used in commercial construction, such as school buildings. Though PCBs have been used in a wide variety of materials, they have commonly been used in window and door caulking and light ballasts. Adding to the danger, PCBs can migrate out of their original position and into the adjoining walls, flooring, masonry and soil. PCBs can also be released into the air, posing a serious hazard to people who come in contact with it. Monsanto is the only known U.S. manufacturer of PCBs.
Scott Summy has been a national leader in environmental litigation, particularly in the area of water contamination. Summy was a chief negotiator of a $420 million national settlement with many of the nation’s leading oil companies that forced these companies to clean up contaminated water. Summy also recently served as class counsel in a recent settlement regarding atrazine water contamination, the first settlement of its kind in the nation. Summy currently serves on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the litigation surrounding the 2010 BP oil spill.
The national mesothelioma law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. has been “Protecting What’s Right” for asbestos sufferers and their families for nearly 40 years. As one of the first law firms to successfully litigate an asbestos lawsuit, Baron & Budd continues to actively represent veterans, industry workers and others who are suffering as a result of exposure to asbestos. Contact Baron and Budd at 855-280-7664 for additional information on mesothelioma treatments, mesothelioma cancer doctors and treatment centers and mesothelioma attorneys.