When a Hawaiian family is expecting a child, they are hoping that the child will be born with no health complications. However, some children are born with birth defects that can cause the child to suffer physical and mental disabilities that affect them for the rest of their lives. The families of these children may find themselves struggling to pay for the costly surgeries, rehabilitation and other medical expenses. While birth defects can sometimes be unavoidable, there are many cases where a birth defect was caused by the negligence of another party. Sometimes, a negligent medical professional is to blame, but in other cases, companies are responsible for using dangerous or defective products.
A 28-year-old woman and her parents, and a 17-year-old and his mother, are filing a personal injury lawsuit against Monsanto, a pesticide manufacturer. The families reportedly lived in a residential neighborhood, no more than 500 yards form Monsanto’s fields in north Kihei. The lawsuit alleges that Monsanto used dangerous pesticides and other harmful chemicals in the fields that caused birth defects in the 28-year-old woman and 17-year-old boy. The families asserted claims for negligence, strict liability and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The 28-year-old woman reportedly was born with a condition that caused her throat to not be connected with her stomach. As a result, she was not able to eat and had to undergo esophagus reconstruction surgery. She also had to use a tracheostomy tube to breathe and had paralyzed vocal cords. The 17-year-old boy was born with a defect that caused limited kidney function, and had to undergo surgery to repair a tube between his kidney and bladder that was not formed properly. The boy also reportedly has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
According to the lawsuit, Monsanto used restricted-use pesticides that are known to cause birth defects and other medical problems. The families became aware of the possible toxic exposure to the pesticides during pregnancy in 2017.