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Solutia files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

December 22, 2003
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Reuters reports that chemical maker Solutia Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, overwhelmed by huge liabilities related to environmental lawsuits and employee benefits it said were forced upon it by its former parent, Monsanto Co. Solutia also filed a lawsuit against the Pharmacia unit of Pfizer Inc., the world''s largest drug maker, seeking to assign some $475 million in employee benefit liabilities to Pharmacia, said Glenn Ruskin, a spokesman for St. Louis, Missouri-based Solutia. The filings mark the latest twist in a long saga between the three once-intertwined organizations and bring uncertainty to former Monsanto retirees and parties in personal injury lawsuits and pollution cleanup operations around the United States. Through various contractual arrangements, Monsanto and the former Pharmacia have been relying on Solutia to bear the financial responsibility for benefits covering 20,000 former Monsanto employees and their beneficiaries, environmental clean-up costs stemming from asbestos and PCB contaminations, and expenses for some 600 lawsuits involving the former Monsanto and Pharmacia. In all, Solutia estimates the liabilities will cost it at least $100 million a year for the next five years and could eventually total about $755 million, Ruskin said.
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