After being exposed to chemicals in fluorescent lights at school, three teachers were awarded $185 million.
According to the Associated Press, three instructors were granted $185 million in a case against Monsanto for exposure to chemicals in fluorescent lights used in their schools.
The teachers claimed they were exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in the fluorescent lights at the Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe, Washington, and suffered brain damage as a result.
According to Friedman Rubin, the law firm representing the instructors, the judgement was handed down in King County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Monsanto’s parent firm, Bayer, said it disagreed with the ruling and may appeal.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
In a statement, the teachers’ attorney, Rick Friedman, said, “This is a huge step in holding Monsanto accountable.”
In a statement, Bayer spokesperson Susan Skiles Luke said, “The undisputed evidence in this case does not support the conclusions that plaintiffs were exposed to hazardous levels of PCBs at the Sky Valley Education Center (SVEC) or that any exposure could have possibly caused their claimed disabilities.”
The light ballasts at issue in the complaint, according to the business, are no longer in use.
“These are historic claims relating to things that Monsanto hasn’t produced in over 40 years,” Luke explained.
This was the first of 22 trials involving Sky Valley Education Center staff, parents, and kids.
Millions of fluorescent light ballasts containing PCBs are likely still in use in schools and day care facilities across the United States, according to a 2019 Associated Press investigation. PCBs were outlawed four decades ago due to worries that they could cause cancer and other ailments.
Many older buildings also contain PCB-containing caulk, ceiling tiles, floor adhesives, and paint, which have been found at quantities considerably beyond the legal limit.
PCBs are a group of substances created by Monsanto Co. that were widely used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment until 1979, when they were outlawed.
Monsanto has also been hit with a slew of lawsuits over their weed killer Roundup. Bayer announced last year that it will pay more than $10 billion to settle hundreds of cancer-related cases. According to the firm, the settlement covers around 125,000 claims, both filed and unfiled.