February 7, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 38


February 07, 2023

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February 06, 2023

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135 Wisconsin Municipalities Potentially Affected by PCB Class Action Settlement. Payouts May Not Align with Actual Damages.

A Central District of California Judge has preliminarily approved a class action settlement in City of Long Beach, et al. v. Monsanto Company, et al., that will resolve claims by various municipalities against Monsanto Company, Solutia, Inc. and Pharmacia for environmental damages related to PCBs.  The underlying basis for the claims are allegations that PCBs are present at sites and public properties, including in stormwater, storm and wastewater systems, water bodies, sediment, natural resources, fish and wildlife. The Defendants agreed to pay $550 million to be distributed to 2,528 initial class members across the United States.

While none of the named plaintiffs in the case are from Wisconsin, there are 135 Wisconsin Municipalities identified as Class Members who will be impacted by this settlement.  Eighteen Wisconsin Municipalities are projected to be eligible for a combined total of over $11 million from a “TMDL Fund.”  The TMDL payments range from as low as $5,404 to a high of $4,034,109 and are intended to be used for “restitution and remediation including mitigation of contaminated property, stormwater, and/or stormwater systems, including compliance with a TMDL.” The other 117 municipalities are purportedly eligible to receive payments ranging from $17,024.47 to $32,024.47 from a “monitoring fund.” The total projected payout to these Wisconsin Municipalities from the monitoring fund is just under $720,000.

In exchange for accepting payments as class members, the municipalities will be forever barred from making any claim against these manufacturers for PCB related environmental impairments, including impairments to water bodies, sediment cleanups, public properties, including stormwater and wastewater systems.

Notice of the preliminary approval will be mailed to the identified 135 Wisconsin Municipalities in the coming days.  Once the notice has been mailed, municipalities have 60 days from the date of mailing to decide if they want to (1) accept the settlement, remain in the class and file a claim; (2) remain in the class and object to the settlement; or (3) opt out of the settlement to pursue claims separately.

© 2023 Davis|Kuelthau, s.c. All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 100

About this Author

Ted Warpinski, Davis Kuelthau Law Firm, Green Bay, Environmental Litigation Law Attorney

With over 30 years of experience, Ted has worked on a wide variety of environmental and litigation cases across Wisconsin. From the early years of Superfund litigation on sites like the Fadrowski Drum Disposal Site in Franklin, Wisconsin and the Moss-American Site in Milwaukee, Ted has been immersed in both the legal and technical aspects of environmental law.

Ted’s litigation practice has grown to include environmental nuisance claims and toxic tort litigation, contract and property disputes, construction defects, insurance coverage litigation...

M. Andrew Skwierawski Environmental & Commercial Attorney Davis Kuelthau Law Firm Milwaukee
Senior Attorney

With 12 years of legal experience, Andy combines his background as a veteran software developer and small business owner to his technical and scientific-focused law practice that includes environmental litigation, e-discovery, complex commercial disputes and municipal compliance.

Andy enjoys working with clients to understand their goals and find creative ways to achieve them.

His technology law practice includes crafting and responding to e-discovery requests as well as reviewing software licensing and service...