Monsanto Hit Big For PCB Liability

THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL March 7, 1994 pg. 17

Case type: equitable indemnification Case: Transwestern Pipeline Co. v. Monsanto Co., C643857 (Super. Ct., Los Angeles Co.)

Jury verdict: $9.7 million

From 1968 to 1972, Transwestern Pipeline Co. used a lubricant containing polychlorinated biphenyl in the gas compression of its natural gas pipeline across New Mexico, Arizona and part of Callfornia. The contamination was discovered in 1981 and cleanup of the pipeline began shortly thereafter. One of Transwestern's customers, Southern California Gas Co., sued Transwestern for the costs of the cleanup and won an arbitration. The terms of that arbitration were confidential. Transwestern sued Monsanto Co., which provided the lubricant, for equitable indemnification to recover its costs for removing the PCB contaminatlon. Transwestern charged that Monsanto had manufactured a defective product. Monsanto denied liability, but on Feb. 1, a Los Angeles jury ordered Monsanto to pay $9.7 million to Transwestern.


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