Chula Vista Leads $550 Million Resolution of Environmental PCB Claims


Nationwide class action settlement announced between governmental entities and Monsanto

Today, the City of Chula Vista, along with 12 governmental entities announced a proposed nationwide class action settlement with Monsanto Company, Pharmacia, LLC, and Solutia, Inc., for $550 million, resolving national PCB water contamination claims for a proposed class of 2,528 governmental entities. Legal motions to approve the proposed settlement class have been filed in federal court in the Central District of California, in a case before Judge Fernando M. Olguin.

Over a dozen lawsuits have been filed by governmental entities since March 2015 seeking cost recovery for storm water and environmental contamination alleged by Plaintiffs to have been caused by chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which Monsanto manufactured between the 1930s and 1977. The settling named class plaintiffs leading the nationwide resolution include City of Spokane, City of Tacoma, City of Portland, Port of Portland, City of Berkeley, City of Oakland, City of San Jose, County of Los Angeles, City of Long Beach, City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, City of Baltimore, and Baltimore County.

The cases were collectively litigated for over five years and were mediated and
resolved through JAMS Mediator Judge (Ret.) Jay Gandhi. This national resolution will provide over 2,500 local communities nationwide with funds for monitoring, mitigation, and remediation of PCB contamination in storm water, storm water systems, sediments, and
water bodies. The proposed class action must be approved by Judge Olguin prior to providing payments to the governmental entity class members. The proposed class action will provide all class members with a monetary benefit and will additionally provide funds for those governmental entities that have incurred or will incur significant expenses to protect and remediate America’s waterways.

The City of Chula Vista is represented by City Attorney Glen Googins, Deputy City Attorney Karen Rogan, and by outside counsel Scott Summy, John Fiske, and Carla Burke of Baron & Budd, P.C. and proposed Lead Class Counsel.