CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The
approval of a settlement in a lawsuit over pollution of the community
of Nitro with dioxin from the former Monsanto chemical plant has been
upheld by the state Supreme Court.
By a 4-1 vote Friday, the High Court affirmed a January ruling made by Circuit Judge Derek Swope in the case.
approved the class-action settlement which was meant to resolve
long-standing allegations that Monsanto had contaminated Nitro with
toxic pollution from the production of the defoliant Agent Orange.
court stated in its 14-page decision that it found “no substantial
question of law and no prejudicial error” in Swope’s settlement approval
the settlement worth $93 million, many Nitro residents would be
eligible to receive medical monitoring and property cleanups.
former Monsanto plant produced various chemicals for more 50 years,
including Agent Orange, a defoliant deployed widely in the Vietnam War.
was with Agent Orange where concerns were raised by residents because
its production creates dioxin as a toxic chemical byproduct. Dioxin has
been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other
Before the beginning of a six month trial, Monsanto agreed to the settlement in February 2012.
agreement involved a 30-year medical monitoring program with a primary
fund of $21 million for initial testing and up to $63 million in
additional money depending on what levels of dioxin are found in