Attorney Steven Kherkher Wins $46.5 Million Verdict Against Monsanto
Yesterday, attorney Steven Kherkher of Williams Kherkher won a $46.5 million verdict against Monsanto and three other companies in a 10-2 jury decision in a St. Louis Circuit Court. Kherkher represented 3 plaintiffs in this case – which is just the latest in a string of lawsuits against Monsanto – alleging that Monsanto was aware of a connection between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but that they continued to market the compounds as safe for use into the 1970s.
The jury award included $17.5 million for the three named plaintiffs in the case, as well as another $29 million in punitive damages against Monsanto and the three other defendants. When asked about the jury’s decision, a 24-year-old juror in the case stated “I think it goes to show that large companies can put stuff out there that’s harmful and they can do it for along [sic] time but that justice is going to be served whether it’s a year after the products are put out, or in this case, 80 years.”
From 1935 to 1977, Monsanto was the leading manufacturer of PCBs in the United States, which were used widely in paint, food packaging materials, and industrial equipment, among other products. The EPA banned the use of PCBs in 1979, stating that “PCBs have caused birth defects and cancer in laboratory animals, and they are a suspected cause of cancer and adverse skin and liver effects in humans.”