Kansas City Firm Agrees to Pay $10M to Missouri Farmers

March 5, 2012

A Kansas City engineering firm has agreed to pay a total of $10 million to more than a dozen northwest Missouri farmers who used fertilizer from a St. Joseph tannery on their fields.

Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. did not admit to wrongdoing and denies it caused harm to any property. A class-action lawsuit filed in 2009 by a Kansas City law firm involves farmland in Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb and Andrew counties.

The Kansas City Star reports the suit claimed sludge Prime Tanning provided to farmers as fertilizer contained hexavalent chromium, a dangerous chemical.

The tannery gave sludge to farmers over three decades, with Burns & McDonnell providing technical consulting during some of that time.

The suit is separate from other legal actions involving health issues.

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