$93M Settlement Upheld in Monsanto Agent Orange Class Action Lawsuit

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Charleston, WV: A $93 million settlement in and environmental class action lawsuit has been upheld by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The settlement was initially approved 11 months ago and provides for a 30-year medical monitoring plan for people who lived near Monsanto' agent orange plant. The settlement provides for a primary fund of $21 million to pay for the testing of those eligible class members, and up to $63 million in additional funding to be made available over the life of the program.

The settlement also provides up to $9 million to professionally clean homes in the Nitro area, which is where the Monsanto plant that produced trichlorophenol was located. The dioxin in question, which is known as 2,4,5 trichlorophenoxyacidic acid or 2,4,5-T , was used by the military as part of the herbicide Agent Orange in Vietnam. Monsanto had allegedly adopted an illegal practice of disposing of dioxin waste materials by a continuous process of open "pit"burning. About 4,500 homes are located in the areas where individual remediation may be advisable. Residents complained that Monsanto' burning was "dusty"and "haphazard", releasing over 30,000 pounds of the toxin into the air around Nitro.

Monsanto operated the Nitro plant until 1995 when the plant merged with the Dutch company Akzo Nobel, and began operating as Flexsys America Inc. The plant eventually closed in 2004.

The settlement resolves all claims in pending litigation, as well as class actions, filed in West Virginia.

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