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Frequently Asked Questions

What is this Lawsuit about?

Answer:

Certain persons living, working, or attending school in and around Nitro, West Virginia filed a lawsuit in 2004 in West Virginia state court alleging that their property and persons were contaminated by dioxin released at Monsanto Company's Nitro Plant located in Nitro, West Virginia, which is no longer operational (the #Plant#). Specifically, Plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that waste disposal practices at the Plant between 1948 and 1969 resulted in widespread dioxin contamination in the Class Area. The Defendants deny that any such contamination occurred. Nonetheless, the Parties to the lawsuit have reached a Settlement. As part of that Settlement, the Parties are required to notify certain affected persons (i.e., the Medical Monitoring Class) of the Settlement, their right to participate in the Medical Monitoring Program established under the Settlement, if it is approved by the Court, and their right to object to the Settlement.

The Medical Monitoring Class Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, if any, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

The Notice also provides details on what options you may have in response to this Settlement, and how to claim benefits provided by the Settlement. Please click here to review the Medical Monitoring Class Notice.

What is a Class Action?

Answer:

In a class action, one or more people called #Class Representatives# sue on behalf of a group of people with similar claims. All of these people together are called the #Class# or #Class Members.# One Court resolves the issues for all Class Members.

Why is there a Settlement?

Answer:

A Settlement is not an admission of any wrong doing by the Defendants. The Court or a jury did not make any decision in favor of the Plaintiffs or the Defendants. Instead, the two sides agreed to settle. By settling, they both avoid the risks, delays, and costs of a trial, and the Medical Monitoring Class Members will get what they sued for: free medical testing paid for by the Defendants. The Parties in the case and their attorneys believe this Settlement is the best option for everyone in the Medical Monitoring Class.

Overview of the Medical Monitoring Program.

Answer:

As part of the proposed Settlement, Defendants have agreed to fund a Medical Monitoring Program. The Medical Monitoring Program is designed to screen those members of the Medical Monitoring Class who choose to participate in the Program (#Participants#). It is based in large part on the Medical Monitoring Program recommended by the Class’s own expert. It is important to remember that the Program is restricted by law to screening for latent (asymptomatic) and previously undiagnosed diseases.

The Medical Monitoring Program consists of three phases. First, eligibility for medical monitoring benefits will be determined by the Registration Administrator. Second, eligible persons will receive screening with the Thomas Healthcare System, which will include the following tests: Serum Dioxin, Fasting Glucose, Hemoglobin A1C, Fasting Lipid Profile, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, and CBC with Differential. The Participants will also receive a History and Physical Examination. Third, reports summarizing the results of such test will be sent to Participants and/or the Participant’s primary care physician at the Participants' election.

Additional medical screenings will be conducted every five years for a total of 30 years. Each of these screening intervals is known as a “Screening Period.” Participants are not required to participate in every Screening Period. However, they must register for the initial screening period to receive notice of, and participate in, any subsequent screening period.

The base funding for the program will be $21 million but Defendants will be responsible for additional contributions totaling $63 million, should certain benchmarks regarding Participants' serum blood dioxin levels be exceeded. Also, for any single Screening Period where the benchmarks are exceeded, the next Screening Period will occur in two years instead of five.

How can I receive Medical Monitoring?

Answer:

If you think you might be interested in registering for and participating in the Medical Monitoring Program, you should contact the Administrator at 1 (877) 673-5049.

The first step, eligibility determination, will be done by you filling out a Questionnaire provided by the Settlement Administrator. The Settlement Administrator will carefully review your Questionnaire and determine whether you are eligible to participate in the Medical Monitoring Program. To obtain the Questionnaire, you must visit the Settlement Administrators Office at 2303 1st Avenue, Nitro, WV 25143, or you can email the administrator at info@ncasallc.com.  To participate in the initial screening, and any subsequent screening, all Questionnaires must be completed and turned in during the Registration Period, which will begin on July 8, 2014 and end on October 31, 2014.

Who is eligible for Medical Monitoring?

Answer:

You are a member of the Medical Monitoring Class if you worked full time, attended school full time or lived within the Class Area between January 1, 1948 and September 30, 2010. However, under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, only those Class Members who meet certain eligibility criteria will be eligible to participate in the Medical Monitoring Program. Those criteria are based on the scientific evidence presented by the attorneys representing the Class Members and their experts. To be eligible, you must fall within one of the groups listed in Exhibit B of the Medical Monitoring Class Notice, which you can review by clicking here. The Class contends that if you fall into one or more of those groups you may be at an increased risk of disease and therefore should get the medical testing done. Also, to be eligible, you must never have worked at the Defendants' Nitro Plant.

When will Medical Monitoring begin?

Answer:

Participants will begin receiving medical monitoring screening after the initial Registration Period ends. Appointments with the Thomas Healthcare System will be scheduled by the Registration Administrator during the registration process once eligibility has been determined. You will have 150 days from the end of the Registration Period within which to get your tests done.

What is a Release of Claims against Defendants?

Answer:

If you are a member of the Medical Monitoring Class and did not opt out of the Class, Final Approval by the Court of the Settlement will result in the dismissal of all medical monitoring claims you may have against the Defendants regardless of whether you personally qualify for free medical testing. In return for the dismissal of all claims Defendants have agreed to fund the Medical Monitoring Program for those who are eligible.

Who are the Lawyers representing you?

Answer:

The Court previously ordered that W. Stuart Calwell, Jr., Esquire, of the Calwell Practice, Pllc, will represent you and the other Class Members. This lawyer and the law firm are called "Class Counsel." If you want to be seperately represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. The lawyer you hire should explain to you the scope of his/her representation and any continuing role Class Counsel may have.

How will Class Counsel be paid?

Answer:

The amount of attorneys' fees and costs awarded to Class Counsel by the Court are separate and apart from any benefits made available to the Medical Monitoring Class and will not affect in any way the Settlement benefits to which you are entitled.

What will happen if I do nothing?

Answer:

It is the Settlement Administrators duty to determine your eligibility. Once the registration period ends on October 31, 2014, you will no longer be entitled to any services available from the settlement.

Disclaimer

Please do not contact Monsanto Company or the Court about this Settlement. Any and all callers will be directed to this website. If you have questions, please refer to the information posted here.
This site is not operated by Monsanto Company. This class action settlement is supervised by the Court which directed that information about the settlement be provided through this website.

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