Marlene Feist

Scam Alert: City isn’t soliciting funds for Monsanto lawsuit

Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, No Phone Number Available

Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 2:35 p.m.

Scam Alert:  City isn’t soliciting funds for Monsanto lawsuit

Since the City of Spokane filed a lawsuit against corporate giant Monsanto over PCB pollution in the Spokane River in July, we have received lots of interest from people and media outlets from across the nation and even from other places around the globe.

Unfortunately, not all of this attention has been positive. At least one person has reported to us that they were solicited to provide a donation for the City's legal effort. The City isn't soliciting funds to pay for this lawsuit, and we encourage people not to respond to any such requests.

This lawsuit is being handled on a contingency basis; that means the lawyers who represent us will front the costs and get paid out of any settlement or judgment we receive. The City is represented in the lawsuit by Baron & Budd PC and Gomez Trial Attorneys, who also are involved in similar lawsuits on behalf of the cities of San Diego and San Jose.

The Spokane River currently does not meet federal, state or tribal water quality standards for PCBs. Testing has shown PCBs in the Spokane River were manufactured by Monsanto.

As part of its efforts to improve the vitality and health of the Spokane River, the City is suing Monsanto, which made PCBs from the early 1930s to late 1970s. The suit is intended to try to protect our taxpayers and utility ratepayers. We believe the manufacturer of the product should have some responsibility for the contamination the company knew it was causing.

The City already plans to spend more than $300 million to improve the health of the Spokane River, tackling PCBs and other pollutants by:

  • Reducing the amount of untreated stormwater that reaches the river.
  • Reducing overflows from combined sanitary and stormwater sewers.
  • And vastly improving filtration at the City's water reclamation facility.

Nonetheless, if you receive a call or email requesting a donation to support this legal effort, we recommend you end the call or delete the email. Don't provide a credit card number or other personal information. Anyone in Spokane who believes they have been a victim of a scam is asked to call Crime Check at 509.456.2233 to file a police report. Outside of the Spokane community, people should call their own local authorities.

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