Logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen, Germany February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Plaintiffs seek at least $180 mln from Bayer over PCBs in school

(Reuters) – Bayer AG ought to pay at least $180 million in damages over contamination at a Monroe, Washington school from poisonous chemical substances made by its predecessor Monsanto Co, a lawyer for college students suing the corporate instructed a jury on Tuesday.

“I want to suggest to you that Monsanto has earned your distrust,” Richard Friedman of Friedman Rubin instructed jurors in King County, Washington Superior Courtroom throughout his closing argument at trial, which Reuters considered through Courtroom View Community. He mentioned the corporate deceived the general public and authorities regulators in regards to the chemical substances, which plaintiffs say have been discovered in school lighting fixtures, for years.

Adam Miller of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, a lawyer for Bayer, countered that there was no proof of unsafe ranges of the chemical substances referred to as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, at Sky Valley Schooling Heart, an alternate school that doesn’t use grades.

The trial, which started in September, was the second in a sequence of scheduled trials of claims by college students, dad and mom and workers that they suffered a variety of well being issues, together with bronchial asthma and cognitive impairment, because of publicity to PCBs. The eight plaintiffs at trial embrace college students and fogeys.

The primary trial ended earlier this 12 months with a $185 million verdict in favor of three lecturers and a partner, which the corporate mentioned it will problem in post-trial motions.

PCBs have been as soon as used broadly to insulate electrical gear, and have been additionally used in such merchandise as carbonless copy paper, caulking, flooring end and paint. They have been outlawed by the U.S. authorities in 1979 after being linked to most cancers and different well being issues. Monsanto produced PCBs from 1935 to 1977.

The plaintiffs had alleged publicity to PCBs at Sky Valley from fluorescent mild ballasts, which Bayer mentioned have been produced a long time in the past by clients of Monsanto’s merchandise and put in in the late Nineteen Sixties.

Friedman on Tuesday mentioned Monsanto’s inside communications confirmed it knew of the hazards of PCBs for many years, however hid them from the general public and from authorities regulators. He confirmed the jury a 1977 memorandum in which an worker acknowledged it was “probably just as well” that most people was not conscious of the broadly used chemical as a result of they’d “undoubtedly become very emotional.”

Miller mentioned the plaintiffs had failed to supply any direct proof that PCBs precipitated their accidents, and that the degrees discovered in the school have been deemed protected by the Environmental Safety Company.

He additionally mentioned any contamination was the duty of the school for transferring into the “dilapidated heap” of a constructing in 2011 and never adequately remediating it.

The case is Lengthy v. Pharmacia LLC, King County Superior Courtroom, Washington, No. 18-2-00001-7 SEA.

For plaintiffs: Richard Friedman of Friedman Rubin

For Bayer: Adam Miller of Shook, Hardy & Bacon

Learn extra:

Bayer says to attraction U.S. courtroom ruling on PCBs if needed

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York

Brendan Pierson

Brendan Pierson studies on product legal responsibility litigation and on all areas of well being care legislation. He may be reached at [email protected]