Monsanto emerged victorious on Tuesday at the end of a nearly month-long trial in which plaintiffs had alleged the former manufacturer of PCBs showed “a reckless disregard for human life.”
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were manufactured in the U.S. from 1929 until being banned in 1979, and, according to reporting by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Monsanto was the primary manufacturer of them. The EPA classifies PCBs as probable human carcinogens.
The suit charges Monsanto with negligence for production and sale of PCBs despite knowledge of their harm.
“Such conduct was gross and flagrant and done with a reckless disregard for human life and for the safety of others,” the Post-Dispatch reports the lawsuit as stating.
Plaintiffs in the case developed lymphohematopoietic cancer after being exposed to PCBs. The Post-Dispatch reports that a St. Louis County jury found the company not liable for the deaths and health effects from the exposure.
As to why Solutia, Pharmacia and Pfizer are also named in the suit, the Post-Disptach explains:
In 1997, Monsanto’s chemical business was spun off as Solutia. Three years later, the rest of Monsanto — its life sciences division — merged with Pharmacia. Then in 2002, the current incarnation of Monsanto, based in Creve Coeur, was spun off. A year later, Pharmacia merged with Pfizer.