Don Bauder 6:30 p.m., Aug. 21
Family sues Monsanto Company for role in death of former airport employee
Lawsuit alleges Carl Wayne Hopkins died from long-term exposure to fuels and lubricants, some of which produced by Monsanto.
A lawsuit was filed in San Diego's Southern District U.S Court on Wednesday against the powerful seed company and king of genetically modified organisms (GMO), Monsanto, for their role in the death of former San Diego Airport Authority employee Carl Wayne Hopkins, who died of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in December 2010.
The lawsuit, filed by Hopkins's widow Teresa and sons Carl and Warren, on June 19, claims that Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB), and Tricholoroethylene (TCE) manufactured by the Monsanto Company and found in many lubricants and fuels were the main cause of Hopkins's illness and death. The Dow Chemical Company and Solutia Inc are also named as defendants in the case.
Hopkins, according to a previous lawsuit filed against the City of San Diego and Port of San Diego, worked at the former Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical Facility on North Harbor Drive. Since1967, Hopkins was responsible for the clean-up and investigation of contaminations at the site. During that time, Hopkins was exposed to the toxic chemicals, some of which were produced with the use of Monsanto's genetically engineered corn seeds.
The family is seeking over $10 million in damages, $3.7 million for Hopkins's widow, and just under $3.5 million for each of the two sons.
But taking on Monsanto in court will not be an easy task. The company is one of the most powerful companies in the country. It produces close to 90 percent of corn and soybeans in the country, all from genetically manufactured seeds. The top seed company, however, has come under fire recently.
On May 25, thousands of people in dozens of cities around the world participated in protests against Monsanto and their genetically engineered seeds.
More than 1,000 people in San Diego came together for a march in Balboa Park, as reported here by Reader contributor David Batterson,
Attorneys for the family failed to respond in time for publication.
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