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BAYER TO CHALLENGE WASHINGTON JURY'S $275 MILLION AWARD IN PCB CASE
By Pierre Bertrand, Dow Jones

Bayer AG said Friday that it will challenge a U.S. jury decision to award a group of personal-injury claimants $275 million in damages for health problems related to their exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs) manufactured by Monsanto, which was later acquired by Bayer.

A jury in the U.S. state of Washington found in favor of the 13 plaintiffs, who allege they were exposed to the chemical at an education center in the town of Monroe, outside Seattle, Bayer said.

The German conglomerate plans to pursue post-trial motions and appeals based on what it sees as multiple errors and a lack of proof, it said.

"The undisputed evidence in this case does not support the conclusions that plaintiffs were exposed to unsafe levels of PCBs at the Sky Valley Education Center or that these exposures are responsible for their alleged health issues," Bayer said.

This is the fifth personal injury case arising from the education center to go to trial alleging injuries from PCB exposure from fluorescent light ballasts produced by Monsanto's customers and installed at the education center in the late 1960s, the company said.

PCBs were a safety material that were used in a wide array of products to reduce fire risk, a Bayer spokesman said.

Bayer said Monsanto stopped manufacturing PCBs in 1977. The company acquired Monsanto in a multibillion-dollar deal in 2018.

In 1979, they were banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The environmental regulator says the substances don't readily break down in the environment and are probable human carcinogens.


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