Lawsuits alleging dioxin from a former Monsanto Company plant contaminated residential properties and streams will be tried as class-action cases.
According to court documents, Putnam County Circuit Court Judge O.C. Spaulding certified two lawsuits against Monsanto as class-action cases this week. Thousands of current and former Nitro residents are included in one case. The second case includes owners of about 100 properties in the Manila and Heizer Creek areas near Nitro.
Monsanto owned the Nitro plant from 1934 until 2000. The plant closed in 2004.
The lawsuits allege that dioxin from Monsanto's production of 2, 4, 5-T, a powerful herbicide ingredient, polluted local properties and local streams.
Dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities, endometriosis, infertility and suppressed immune functions. The chemical builds up in tissue over time, so even small exposures can accumulate to dangerous levels.