It's a win, or a small compensation, for citizens of Nitro, West Virginia after the West Virginia Supreme Court handed down a settlement ordering Monsanto to pay $93 million for poisoning the small town's citizens with Agent Orange chemicals. Monsanto is also required to pay $9 million for professional residential cleaning. While the settlement was agreed upon last year, Monsanto began compensating victims of dioxin exposure at the beginning of July.
Residents of the town filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto in 2004 after ongoing health conditions were linked to the production of Agent Orange—a chemical used to defoliate jungle vegetation during the Vietnam War. The company was handed a "hefty lawsuit" after the plant, which operated from 1929 to 2004, released toxic dioxin into the air.
While the plant is no longer in production and is vacant at this time, health problems persist for residents of the town. Many residents believe their bad health is a direct affect of growing up near the once-operating plant.
Current residents or previous residents of Nitro, who lived in the area between January 1, 1948 and September 3, 2010, are urged to register with the Nitro Class Action Settlement Administration located on 23rd Street in town. The settlement administration is asking everyone in the town to participate in order to set a precedence for future class action suits against Monsanto.
Even though this settlement was a long time in the making, many activists and protesters believe this is just the first of many lawsuits to be won against Monsanto.