Portland’s PCB Lawsuit Against Monsanto Moves Forward

October 4, 2017  |  Public Entities
Portland PCB Lawsuit

A district judge has ruled that the City of Portland and the Port of Portland can move forward with their lawsuits against Monsanto, which allege that the agrochemical corporation is responsible for the lasting contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the city’s waterways.

According to District Judge Michael Mosman, “the City’s allegations that it suffered special damage not suffered by the public generally by being required to expend funds to investigate, monitor, analyze, and remediate PCB contamination were sufficient.”

Portland is one of a growing number of cities and municipalities suing Monsanto over PCBs. Seattle, Spokane, San Diego, Long Beach, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose and the State of Washington are all currently involved in similar litigation. Monsanto has attempted to convince the courts to dismiss these cases in Oregon, Washington, and California and has been subsequently denied under each state’s laws.

“This is a sign of a continuing trend,” Baron & Budd attorney John Fiske told OPB’s EarthFix. “If anything, this litigation is going to continue to grow and strengthen in its evidence and legal rulings. It seems like the more Monsanto fights, the better the cases get.”

Monsanto manufactured PCBs for decades, and according to internal memos, it knew PCBs were toxic, could not be contained to their original applications, and do not biodegrade. The chemicals were released from their intended applications into stormwater and wastewater systems across the country, causing widespread water contamination. Public entities are now taking action to hold Monsanto accountable for the cleanup costs.

For more information about Baron & Budd’s Environmental Litigation Group and our representation of public entities that have been impacted by water contamination, call us at 866-364-6376 or complete our contact form.

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