Perry v. Monsanto Company
William Morrow, Buddy Cox and local counsel Mark Rasco defended this fraud and failure to warn case against Monsanto in the Circuit Court of Talladega County, Alabama. The plaintiff, a fireman and medic for the City of Lincoln, was injured after responding to a fire which consumed a tractor trailer hauling acrylic fiber manufactured by Monsanto. The plaintiff claimed he suffered Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of exposure to high concentrations of hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and other toxins contained in the smoke of the burning fiber. He offered evidence of $137,000 in medical bills. Plaintiff contended that Monsanto, after it was contacted on the evening of the fire, failed to provide adequate warnings to first responders about dangerous properties of the smoke and failed to inform first responders that the Material Safety Data Sheet created by Monsanto for the fiber called for special firefighting measures, including use of a self-contained breathing apparatus and full protective clothing. Monsanto denied any misrepresentation or suppression, and put on evidence that its warnings were sufficient and plaintiff's own contributory negligence caused or contributed to his injuries. At the conclusion of a four day trial, plaintiff's counsel asked for $1.2 million in damages during closing argument. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Monsanto on October 27, 2005.