The Business Litigation Blog

Syngenta Settles Class Action Lawsuit

Swiss chemical maker Syngenta AG, a world-leading agri-business committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology, has settled a class action lawsuit by paying $105 million. The suit comes as a result of the company contaminating U.S. water supplies due to the use of the chemical Atrazine, its weed-killing product. The business lawsuit has been going on for nearly eight years and has affected 1,887 community water systems, serving more than 52 million Americans.

While the manufacturers constantly denied that the agricultural herbicides contained any danger to the humans, six states had filed claims against Syngenta in 2009. So far, around 45 states in the U.S. have reported that their water supplies had been contaminated with the chemical Atrazine. Because of this, the water supplies in several hundred communities had to be filtered for safe use. The filtering cost these communities millions of dollars and put the health of the people living there at risk. The lawsuit claimed if this chemical was consumed in drinking water it could lead to reproductive problems, birth defects and other abnormalities. However, the company has argued that no one had been exposed to high levels of Atrazine that would cause these types of problems.

The $105 million settlement will be utilized in reimbursing the communities to recover the cost of filtration. However, the amount these eligible water systems may recover will vary and is dependent upon factors including population and the levels and frequency of Atrazine.
Syngenta agreed to the settlement to avoid further legal costs associated with the case. Under the deal, and because the case has been going on for so long, the attorneys working the case will likely collect nearly $35 million in legal fees.

To read more about this business litigation class action lawsuit click here.

Source: Business Week

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