School District Sues Company Over Dangerous Fluorescent Light Bulbs

The Tuscumbia City School System in Alabama is bringing a class action product liability lawsuit against the sole makers of a dangerous chemical used in fluorescent light bulbs for much of the 20th century stating that the company should remove the lights from their schools so they will comply with new safety standards.

According to Law360Pharmacia Corp. – a successor to Monsanto Co. - is the subject of the lawsuit. It alleges that the company should cover any costs to inspect, removing, throw out, and replace old fluorescent light ballasts.

Monsanto was the only U.S. manufacturer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a dangerous chemical used in fluorescent bulbs that has been found to cause cancer, from 1929 to 1979. During this time period, Monsanto knew the toxic dangers of PCBs, but marketed them for use in schools and office buildings anyway. Monsanto became part of Pharmacia in 2000.

“PCBs are a man-made organic chemical,” the complaint said. “They do not exist in nature.

The PCB problem is caused purely by man, and in this country purely by Monsanto.”

In 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new guidelines that recommended all U.S. schools remove any fluorescent light ballasts built before 1979 because they may be contaminated with PCBs. The lawsuit brought by Tuscumbia charges Pharmacia with negligence and is seeking to get it to pay the monetary cost so the district schools can adhere to the EPA suggestion.

If you or a loved one have been harmed by a dangerous chemical that was produced by a company, it may be at fault for the injuries. Contact Sokolove Law today to learn more about pursuing a product liability lawsuit.


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