Monsanto Agrees to Pay $95 Million to Settle PCB Liability

  • Washington AG Bob Ferguson reached a settlement with chemical manufacturer Monsanto Company to resolve allegations of public nuisance and products liability stemming from Monsanto’s manufacturing of probable human carcinogens polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCBs”) and hiding their toxicity and harmful effects to human and animal health.
  • The complaint alleged that Monsanto knew that PCBs caused systemic toxic effects as early as 1937, forty years before PCBs were banned in the United States, and it discontinued manufacturing them. In addition, the complaint alleged that PCB contamination was identified in 600 sites in the state, including in water sources, sediment, soil, and air.
  • Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Monsanto will pay $95 million to resolve its manufacturing, marketing, and distribution liability, but not liability related to the direct discharge of PCBs, including pending and potential liability for PCB contamination at Superfund sites in the state.
  • According to the AG’s office, at least $60 million of that amount will go to the state General Fund, $2 million will cover the AG’s legal costs, and $21.25 million will cover the legal fees and costs of outside firms engaged by the AG’s office for this case.