(Herald Net) – Three Monroe public school teachers have been awarded $185 million in damages after a King County Superior Court jury found the chemical company Monsanto was responsible for health issues caused by exposure to toxic chemicals in fluorescent lights.
The teachers, who worked at the Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe, said they suffered brain damage from exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in the fluorescent light fixtures at the school, according to The Associated Press.
“This is a big step in holding Monsanto accountable for poisoning every man, woman and child in North America,” Rick Friedman, one of the attorneys representing the women, said in a statement. “If politicians won’t make Monsanto clean up its mess, juries will.”
The verdict was more than what was requested by Friedman, who had suggested the teachers be awarded a minimum of $10 million each and punitive damages of three times the compensatory damages. Friedman, Henry Jones and Sean Gamble of the Friedman Rubin law firm represented the women.
Kerry Erickson, Michelle Leahy and Joyce Marquardt were awarded compensatory damages ranging from $15 million to $18 million each, as well as punitive damages of $45 million each, for Monsanto’s “reckless disregard of safety” and to deter future conduct by the company and others, the law firm said in a statement.