Aug 19, 2013 5:07 PM by Ian Auzenne
A Vermilion Parish jury has ordered one of the world's largest companies to pay for land and water clean-up following an arsenic scare on Cow Island.
According to the Richard Broussard and Paul Moresi, III, the plaintiffs' lawyers, GlaxoSmithKline was ordered to pay $4.3 million into a court-administered clean-up fund and $775,000 to a landowner so the clean-up process can begin. The company that made Cooper's Cattle Dip went out of business in 1975 after the Environmental Protection Agency outlawed arsenic dip. It's successor companies eventually were absorbed by GSK.
The plaintiffs argued that the makers of Cooper's Cattle Dip knowingly marketed the product as safe even after it had evidence that the arsenic levels in the dip could cause arsenic poisoning and death.
The court-administered fund will be used to clean contaminated water in the Chicot Aquifer, while the money awarded to the landowner will be used to clean the soil on his property.
The lawsuit is the first of several related to Cooper's Cattle Dip and high arsenic levels in the Cow Island area. The plaintiff's lawyers say the next lawsuit will go to court in February.