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Oregon PCB Pollution Lawsuit Ended by Monsanto with $698M Deal

Oregon PCB Pollution Lawsuit Ended by Monsanto with $698M Deal

The lawsuit was over Monsanto’s products which Bayer purchased for $60 billion in 2018

Oregon has settled with Bayer, the German pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, over PCB pollution.

According to the attorney general of the state, the lawsuit associated with Monsanto’s products ends in a deal of $698 million dollar.

Owing to this move, Oregon is now the latest state in the US to receive millions of dollars from the company for chemical-induced pollution.

It is the largest recovery in the history of Oregon in terms of environmental damage. The magnitude of the settlement over PCB contamination by Monsanto is also larger than any other US state.

The agreement was described as “vitally important” by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to the land, water, air, wildlife, and residents.

At a news conference she further went on to add, “When we start digging and understanding what is in our land what is in our water, it can really bring tears to your eyes. So let’s get this cleaned up so that our kids and our grandkids will not have tears in their eyes.” 

A statement made by Bayer says that the settlement over “legacy Monsanto PCB products” resolves Oregon’s claims completely and releases the company from any other liabilities.

There is no admission of liability in the agreement and neither is any wrongdoing by the company. 

The agreement said, “The settlement terms reflect the unique challenges and trial procedures in this Oregon venue even though Monsanto voluntarily ceased production of PCBs in 1977 and never manufactured, used or disposed of PCBs in Oregon.” 

The settlement stems from a lawsuit made against Monsanto in 2018. It claimed the products of the company polluted the state until PCBs were banned in the 1970s. The case went to trial in May.

A jury was selected and the initial hearings took place, but once the trial was underway, the case was settled. 

Polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly known as PCBs, were used in many commercial and industrial applications including coolants, paint, sealants, and hydraulic fluids. 

In 2018, Monsanto was acquired by Bayer for over $60 billion dollars.

Bayer has a history of reaching agreements that make a total of over $275 million USD to resolve lawsuits of a similar kind. It includes the attorney general of Washington State, Ohio, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, and New Mexico.

About the author


Tom Bernes

Tom Bernes is the Editorial Director at The Next Hint Inc.

Prior to joining The Next Hint Inc, Tom had a hand in a number of online and print publications, including as chief copy editor and Government Technology Magazine as managing editor. He also did a stint in Sydney as group editor of RBI Australia's manufacturing group, which is when he also developed an affinity (a love, really) for cricket.

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