July 13, 2016
The City of Portland, and the law firms of Baron & Budd and Gomez Trial Attorneys, took an important step to improve the vitality and health of Portland waters. Portland filed a lawsuit to hold Monsanto Company responsible for PCB contamination that finds its way into Portland water bodies.
Portland is the 8th American city to file against Monsanto, joining San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, San Diego, Long Beach, Seattle, and Spokane. Case No. 3:16-cv-01418-PK was filed in federal court in the District of Oregon.
“Portland’s elected officials are committed to holding Monsanto accountable for its apparent decision to favor profits over ecological and human health. Monsanto profited from selling PCBs for decades and needs to take responsibility for cleaning up after the mess it created,” said City Attorney Tracy Reeve.
Portland has spent and will continue to spend significant public funds as a result of PCB contamination in the Willamette River and Columbia Slough.
“Monsanto unleashed an environmental virus over five decades, creating one of the largest man-made water contaminants in the world. Now, our firms are joining forces to represent the City of Portland and its citizens,” says Scott Summy of Baron & Budd.
Attorney John Fiske added, “This lawsuit marks federal litigation across three states on the West Coast. With Portland’s lawsuit, nearly every major American city along the Pacific is taking a stand against water contamination.”
Monsanto was the sole U.S. manufacturer of PCBs, which are harmful to fish, birds and other animals. They are known carcinogens and present other health risks to humans, including damage to immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems. Monsanto manufactured over 1 billion pounds of PCBs between the 1930s and the 1970s, when Congress banned PCBs because they are so dangerous. Monsanto’s own documents show that Monsanto continued to sell PCBs long after it knew of the dangers they presented to human health and the natural environment.
Portland joins seven other West Coast cities that have already filed federal lawsuits against Monsanto. The seven West Coast cities that have already filed suit are also represented by the law firms of Baron & Budd and Gomez Trial Attorneys.
Ecolawyers is a joint venture launched by the law firms of Baron & Budd and Gomez Trial Attorneys to fight for environmental justice and hold polluters and manufacturers of pollutants accountable for contaminating water, land, and other natural resources. The two national law firms have achieved landmark results for public entities and individuals who have suffered environmental harm. Ecolawyers is led by attorneys Scott Summy, John Gomez, and John Fiske and is based in Solana Beach, California.