Solutia Responds to First Award in Property Phase of PCB Lawsuit

The jury today returned a damage award of $199,925 for the first plaintiff in the property damage phase of the Abernathy vs.

Monsanto lawsuit. This award consists of $99,925 to clean up the three properties owned by the plaintiff and $100,000 for mental anguish. The jury did not award any amount for the plaintiff's claim of reduction in value of the properties.

The company considers the $99,925 cleanup award to be inappropriate since the company has already agreed to clean up properties in the community that require it. Solutia is disappointed that it was prevented by the court from informing the jury of this fact and of the fact that the company has signed a comprehensive Consent Decree with the federal government that provides for an expedited cleanup of residential properties.

The company also does not consider the mental anguish award to be appropriate. Solutia understands that the community needs peace of mind with respect to PCBs, and we believe that the cleanup is the best way to provide that peace of mind. The plaintiffs' attorney in this case, however, has prevented Solutia from gaining access to clean up his clients' properties that were identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as needing immediate cleanup, and he is objecting to the Consent Decree.

The company believes that numerous legal errors have been made throughout the trial. Solutia will appeal all rulings resulting from the misstatement or misapplication of Alabama law.

Today's verdict is just one more step in the litigation process and is not the final word. Each of the plaintiffs must present evidence of his or her alleged damages. By law, any award should be based on each individual's specific circumstances. Solutia cannot appeal, however, until a final judgment has been entered.

The trial judge has indicated that he will proceed with submitting each individual property damage claim to the jury over the next several weeks.

Solutia remains committed to an effective cleanup of PCBs in Anniston and surrounding areas and has already spent $53 million on that work. We believe that the best and quickest way to achieve the cleanup is the Consent Decree."

600450 Solutia Responds to First Award in Property Phase of PCB Lawsuit
Date: 24 March 2003
Source: Solutia

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