7:00am: West Virginia Outdoors with Chris Lawrence

Monsanto settlement claims office opens in Nitro

NITRO, W.Va. — Years after the Monsanto plant near Nitro closed its gates for good, those who lived in the shadow of the herbicide plant finally have resolution in a longstanding court battle with the company.

Claimants in a class action lawsuit which took eight years of litigation have finally come to an agreement on what benefits the company will pay. The lawsuit filed by those who lived, worked, or attended school in Nitro during those years was finalized in 2012 ahead of what was expected to be a long and complicated trial. The plaintiffs sued and were awarded medical monitoring for health effects of dioxin as well as environmental cleanup on their property.

This week a claims office opened in Nitro to begin registering members of the class for the benefits included in the $93 million settlement.

“The court’s direction is to have the office open for 120 days or until October 31st,” said Charleston attorney Tom Flaherty. “We’re trying to get the word out as best we can.”

Flaherty said more than 5,000 people who pre-registered have received letters. Letters have also been sent to the entire class area. They also hope to reach former residents who may have moved away, but still qualify for the monitoring. Those wishing to register can call 1-877-673-5049.

“Under the court’s order the program for getting benefits is a 30-year program,” he said. “But there’s a narrow window of 120 days and they have to register to get them between now and October 31st.”

Flaherty said it’s a small hurdle when considering the length of the lawsuit which is now final.

Under the settlement, Monsanto agreed to a 30-year medical monitoring program. The settlement designates $21 million for testing and a subsequent fund of $63 million to continue treatment depending on the level of dioxin found in the tests.

If the testing reveals a claimant is suffering adverse health effects from dioxin, the victim retains the right under the language of the settlement to sue for personal injury from the company.

Additionally the company will spend $9 million to clean up 4,500 homes.





More News

News
Governor Justice: no $465 million 'clawback' of federal funds for schools after waiver approval
The problem was based not on any allegations of misspending — but instead over whether school systems fell short on an obligation to maintain financial support for education at levels in line with overall spending.
April 19, 2024 - 6:10 pm
News
Fayette County inmate pleads guilty to killing other inmate
The incident happened in November of 2020 at the Mount Olive Correctional Center.
April 19, 2024 - 5:35 pm
News
Middle school athletes step out of shot put against transgender girl who just won court case
The situation unfolded at the Harrison County Championships for middle schools, just a couple of days after West Virginia transgender athlete won appeals court ruling.
April 19, 2024 - 2:37 pm
News
West Virginia State University holds a day of community service and giving back
The 11th annual WVSU Cares Day was held Friday at 17 sites throughout Kanawha and Putnam counties.
April 19, 2024 - 2:11 pm


Your Comments