Lawsuit claims Monsanto caused birth defects in Maui neighborhood
A new lawsuit claims that Monsanto caused birth defects over the course of decades in a Maui neighborhood.
Two families who lived in the Hale Piilani neighborhood in Kihei yards away from the Monsanto cornfields where pesticides were used on the crops reported birth defects.
Dana Fulton, who is 28 years old, was born with her throat detached from her esophagus, requiring multiple surgeries as a child, and requiring to use a trach for breathing to this day.
17-year-old Max Coleman who also lived in the neighborhood, had kidney issues also requiring surgery and also has ADHD.
It wasn't until years later that both of their mothers realized there could have been a connection to the pesticides being used in the cornfield next to their homes.
"You know I'd wipe my counters and they'd be all dusty and then I'd come back in the afternoon and wipe them again and I thought oh gosh this could all be related," says Lory Marques, Max's mom.
The lawsuit names Monsanto, their parent company Bayer, and landowner Alexander and Baldwin. Lawyer Ilana Waxman says the suit includes claims of negligence and emotional distress. They also hope it will shed light on what products were used, because Waxman says company records released to Maui County don't give a full picture.
"Those don't give any kind of specificity about what was sprayed, when, and in what specific quantities, all of that information is in Monsanto's files," she says.
We reached out to Monsanto for a response but have not heard back. An A&B spokesperson said he had not yet had an opportunity to review the filing, so was unable to comment.