Oklahoma family successfully sues Monsanto for cancer-causing product

A recent multimillion dollar jury verdict illustrates the importance of holding a negligent company responsible for the damage it causes.

A 58-year-old man from Oklahoma passed away despite his healthy lifestyle. According to a report from EcoWatch, an attorney representing his family as well as several other families stated that the man was exposed to a toxic chemical that has been linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A lawsuit resulted in millions in damages for this man's family and others. This case represents an important victory for consumers and illustrates the sheer danger associated with companies that act negligently.

Background

Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are a group of chemicals that are known to be toxic. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry states that exposure to these chemicals can lead to certain skin conditions, such as rashes. Additionally, some studies, the ATSDR notes, have linked PCBs to cancer in humans.

Due to the dangers associated with these substances, the Environmental Protection Agency put a ban on them in 1979. Prior to that, PCBs were commonly found in electronics, as that is how those devices were often insulated. Monsanto was the only company to manufacture PCBs until 1977.

The lawsuit

Three families - from Oklahoma, Alaska and Michigan - filed a lawsuit against Monsanto. The claim stated that a document from 1955 illustrates that the company knew that the chemicals were toxic. However, Monsanto continued to sell PCBs. As a result, people were exposed to the substance and developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the claim alleges.

A jury decided that Monsanto was negligent, awarding $17.5 million in damages and additional $29 million in punitive damages to the three families. EcoWatch reports that this is a groundbreaking ruling, as Monsanto has previously been cleared of responsibility in similar lawsuits for product liability. The attorney for this case noted that there are approximately 1,000 cases involving PCBs.

Oklahoma personal injury lawsuits

This particular case took place in a St. Louis court. Personal injury lawsuits and the guidelines surrounding them vary from state to state. People in Oklahoma who are injured due to someone else's negligence should have an understanding of the laws here and how they will apply to those cases.

For example, Oklahoma imposes a statute of limitations on these claims. Under the law, claims such as medical malpractice, defective products and fatal incidents must be filed within two years of the date of the incident or the date that the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered the injury.

Holding negligent parties responsible for their actions is crucial to securing compensation for medical bills, funeral costs and other damages. Additionally, it can ensure that companies and other defendants take the necessary steps to prevent additional incidents from occurring. People who have concerns about issues such as this one should speak with a personal injury attorney in Oklahoma.