Screenshot of a PCB molecule
Seattle, WA - A Washington state court jury returned a verdict of $82 million on Tuesday, including $61.5 million in punitive damages, at the latest in a series of trials involving exposure to dangerous and long-lasting chemicals at a local school.
The King County jury returned their verdict following four days of deliberations in a lengthy trial that began in late October. The plaintiffs were a family of four alleging they sustained injuries at the Sky Valley Educational Center in Monroe, Washington, though the jury only returned damages for one of the plaintiffs.
This sixth trial involving chemical contamination at the Sky Valley facility, like the ones preceding it, involved claims that parents, students and teachers sustained a range of neurological injuries from exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, found in the aging school’s light fixtures and building caulk.
Monsanto maintains PCB levels in the school were never high enough to cause the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries, but four previous Seattle juries awarded a combined hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. One trial resulted in a hung jury.
All of the Sky Valley PCB trials to date are available as part of Courtroom View Network’s online trial video library. Monthly or annual subscribers get unlimited access to this most recent trial and the others among hundreds of civil trials featuring the best plaintiff and defense attorneys from throughout the United States.
Attorney Michael Wampold of Peterson Wampold Rosato Feldman Luna expressed appreciation after the trial for the jury’s verdict.
“We are very pleased that a King County jury held Monsanto accountable for its egregious behavior selling PCBs,” Wampold told CVN. “We are very grateful to the jury for their verdict particularly the more than $60 million in punitive damages alone.”
A spokesperson for Bayer, which purchased Monsanto in 2018, told CVN in a statement the company is considering an appeal.
“The company is pleased that the jury found legacy Monsanto products were not responsible for the injuries alleged by three of the plaintiffs in this four-plaintiff trial. At the same time, we respectfully disagree with the verdict in favor of one plaintiff and plan to pursue post-trial motions and appeals, if necessary, based on multiple errors and the lack of proof at trial.”
Monsanto was represented at trial by the law firm Shook Hardy & Bacon.
Another trial involving PCB contamination at the Sky Valley facility is scheduled to begin in January of 2023.
E-mail David Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org