GE, Bayer, blamed for child’s cancer in a community awash in PCB pollution

By Carey Gillam

A Massachusetts mother filed a lawsuit on Tuesday blaming widespread PCB pollution by General Electric (GE), Monsanto and its German owner Bayer AG, and several other companies for causing her 9-year-old son to develop leukemia and suffer repeated debilitating medical treatment.

Crystal Czerno alleges, among other things, that GE knowingly contaminated her son Carter’s elementary school and playground with PCB waste while downplaying the harm it could cause. The school is located in the town of Pittsfield, just north of a GE facility that made electrical transformers containing PCBS for more than 40 years. PCB-laden soil from the GE site was spread over the school grounds.

The lawsuit accuses the companies of using the community as a “dumping ground” for “toxic and cancerous” chemicals.

“As a mom I am supposed to protect my babies and I must now live with the fact that I moved them into a home and a school that put them in direct danger,” Czerno said. “My son Carter has paid the price.”

The young boy has undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy, as well as full-body radiation, and multiple stem cell transplants and bone marrow biopsies, according to the lawsuit. Another bone marrow biopsy is scheduled next week, his mother said.