Global Processing

Solutia pulls back on settlement payouts

December 4, 2003
According to the Associated Press, chemicals maker Solutia Inc., is refusing to pay $3 million as part of a settlement of two asbestos lawsuits, arguing that its spinoff from Monsanto Co., unjustly saddled it with hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental cleanup costs and other liabilities. The St. Louis-based company told Monsanto and the drugmaker Pharmacia on Tuesday that it would weigh any future liability payouts as they come due. Solutia makes nylon products, films for laminated safety glass and aftermarket, water-treatment chemicals, heat-transfer fluids and aviation hydraulic fluid. In 1999, Monsanto was acquired by Pharmacia & Upjohn to create Pharmacia Corp., which last year completed a spinoff of its biotechnology and agricultural businesses to form the current Monsanto Co. Pharmacia was aquired by Pfizer Inc. in April. Solutia said its obligation in the two class-action asbestos settlements in Texas resulted from its contractual responsibility to pay such liabilities of the old Monsanto chemical business assigned to it in the spinoff.