The Burlington (Vt.) school district says it plans to sue Monsanto over the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination that forced closure of Burlington High School.
VT Digger reports that Superintendent Tom Flanagan says the district intends to “aggressively seek compensation against the corporation that caused this problem.”
District officials said they are suing Monsanto for the company's role in manufacturing PCBs.
In response to the threatened lawsuit, Monsanto issued a statement that it voluntarily stopped producing PCBs 45 years ago. The company asserts that its conduct "has been appropriate at all times."
Flanagan says the district will seek damages related to the closing of Burlington High School and Technical Center in 2020 because of PCB contamination, the subsequent relocation of the high school to the former Macy’s building downtown, and the costs of building a new high school campus.
In seeking compensation for damages, the district hopes to “minimize the impacts on taxpayers for costs they should not have to bear,” Flanagan says. Burlington residents will vote Nov. 8 on whether to approve a bond issue of up to $165 million to pay for a new high school, which would include remediation for PCB contamination.
Monsanto, an agrochemical company, was sold to Bayer in 2018.
Several former Burlington High School educators have sued Monsanto over the same contamination, alleging they suffered serious health impacts from exposure.