BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) – The biggest PCB makers in the United States dumped millions of tons of dioxins and other poisons that contaminated a Southwest Illinois town, a class action claims in St. Clair County Court. The class claims that Pharmacia, Solutia, Pfizer, Monsanto and others poisoned the area in and around Sauget, 5 miles east of St. Louis, since 1935 and that Monsanto actively concealed the dangers.
Until 1997, more polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were produced at the Monsanto Facility than anywhere in the United States. In the process of disposing of the PCBs, Monsanto released millions of tons of hazardous substances into the environment, the suit states. The defendants spilled, improperly burned and released the toxins in other ways, the complaint states. It claims the emissions contaminated the soil and caused brain and kidney damage and other illnesses.
The class consists of all Illinois citizens who live or lived in a 2-mile radius of the Sauget Landfill, Monsanto Facility or the Cerro Facility at any time since 1935. They seek medical monitoring, remediation and an injunction.
In addition to Pharmacia, Solutia, Pfizer and Monsanto, defendants include Cerro Flow Products and Diane Hackett, executor of the estate of the late Paul Sauget, owner/operator of the 90-acre landfill. The class is represented by Paul Schoen of East St. Louis.