(Reuters) — Germany’s Bayer said on Friday it plans to challenge a jury verdict awarding $275 million to a group of people who claim they suffered from exposure to PCBs, a chemical that Bayer’s Monsanto operations produced until 1977.
Bloomberg and other media outlets reported Thursday on the ruling in King County Superior Court in Washington state in favor of 13 plaintiffs who blamed their illnesses on exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, at Sky Valley School in Monroe County.
“We respectfully disagree with the split jury verdict reached in this 13-plaintiff case and plan to pursue post-trial motions and appeals based on several errors and the lack of evidence at trial,”; Germany-based Bayer said in a statement.
While Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer has been a much bigger litigation burden for Bayer, the diversified health care and agriculture company has also tried to settle lawsuits related to PCBs. The chemical was used in commercial products until Monsanto voluntarily ended production in 1977.
Bayer has since 2020 settled a majority of the cases in litigation with municipalities over wastewater contaminated with PCBs for $650 million, but several other claims remain.
PCBs were once used in electrical equipment, carbonless copy paper, sealing, floor finishes and paint. It was banned by the US government in 1979 after being linked to cancer.