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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 two years for a total of 30 years, but ending in 2044. 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.

Who is eligible for Medical Monitoring?

Answer:

Eligibility for the medical monitoring testing required registration prior to October 31, 2014. Accordingly, eligibility for medical monitoring is now closed. Potential members of the medical monitoring class included those individuals who work full-time, attended school full-time or lived within the class area between January 1, 1948 and September 30, 2010.

When will Medical Monitoring occur?

Answer:

Eligible participants who registered prior to October 31, 2014 had initial medical monitoring screening, including serum dioxin testing, available to them through September 30, 2015 when the first round of testing concluded. The second round of medical monitoring testing occurred May 1, 2018 through August 31, 2018 at Thomas Memorial Hospital's Nitro Care Clinic.

The next free medical monitoring testing will occur May 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020. ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS WILL BE SENT A LETTER FROM THE SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE 2020 TESTING PERIOD. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS ADVISE THE SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR OF ANY CHANGE TO THEIR MAILING ADDRESS. PARTICIPANTS MAY DO SO BY CALLING TOLL FREE AT 1 (877) 673-5049 OR BY EMAILING INFO@NCASALLC.COM.

Pursuant to the Agreed Order entered September 8, 2017, medical monitoring testing will take place in calendar year 2020 and every two years thereafter until 2044 rather than every five years as initially agreed between the parties. Serum dioxin testing will no longer occur after August 31, 2018.

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:

If you registered to participate in medical monitoring prior to October 31, 2014 and were deemed eligible by the settlement administrator, such medical testing will be available to you every two years from 2018 through 2042 regardless of whether you avail yourself to such free medical tests in any given year.

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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