WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Alcoa Inc. (AA) said Friday that it and General Motors Co. (GM) were served with a lawsuit alleging the two companies are responsible for personal injuries caused by exposure to PCBs released from the companies' facilities in New York.
The suit, filed in a New York federal court on behalf of a group of Native Americans, alleges that PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, released from the defendants' facilities in Massena, N.Y., caused personal injury and damage, Alcoa said in its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.
The suit seeks certification of a class of plaintiffs comprising individual Mohawk Indians living on the Akwesane Territory reservation, situated along the St. Lawrence River in the U.S. and Canada, Alcoa said in its annual report. About 12,000 people live on the reservation, according to the suit, Alcoa said.
GM operates a plant in Massena as part of its Powertrain Division; Alcoa has two plants, one for aluminum smelting and the other for cold-finish operations, according to a report in the Watertown, N.Y.-based Watertown Daily Times. The lawsuit contends that PCB dumping by the two companies contaminated rivers home to fish that were a significant part of Mohawks' diets, according to the Watertown Daily Times story.
PCBs were used in the electrical industry until they were banned in the U.S. in 1977, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. The compounds are being investigated for possible ties to cancer.
Alcoa said it is investigating the allegations in the lawsuit.
-By Antonie Boessenkool, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-7139; firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires