Trial date for a class-action lawsuit against chemical company Monsanto has been reset for January.
The plaintiffs in the case are thousands of current and former Nitro residents who claim that Monsanto polluted their town during the days when it made the Vietnam-era defoliant Agent Orange at a nearby facility.
The lawsuit seeks medical monitoring for at least 5,000 -- and perhaps as many as 80,000 -- current and former Nitro residents.
Charleston lawyer Stuart Calwell alleges in the class-action case, filed in 2004, that Monsanto unsafely burned dioxin wastes and spread contaminated soot and dust across the town, polluting homes with unsafe levels of the chemical.
For more than 50 years, the former Monsanto plant in Nitro churned out herbicides, rubber products and other chemicals. The plant's production of Agent Orange created dioxin as a toxic chemical byproduct.
Dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities endometriosis, infertility and suppressed immune functions. The chemical builds up in tissue over time, meaning that even a small exposure can accumulate to dangerous levels.The Source