Media Advisory: Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and Others Hold Capitol News Conference

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 12, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry will join with numerous other state and national business organizations at a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 13 in the Capitol Rotunda to urge the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overturn a Commonwealth Court decision that will have dire economic consequences for businesses in the state, as well as consumers.

Senate Majority Whip Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin/York, and Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, also will attend the news conference, along with other members of the General Assembly.

In 2000, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania won a substantial damage claim against Monsanto Company, now Solutia Inc., for the cost of demolishing and reconstructing the old Department of Transportation building after a 1994 fire. Monsanto allegedly manufactured PCBs used in the fabrication of building components used in the construction of the original PennDOT building in the mid-1960s. Low-levels of PCBs that were well below all health standards were detected in the building after the fire.

Floyd Warner, Chamber president, said the decision to hold Solutia liable, and Commonwealth Court's denial of Solutia's appeal, represents an unprecedented extension of current "strict" liability laws into an "absolute" liability regime. If the decision holds, manufacturers must be ready to insure the safety of their products in any conceivable situation, which could have a crippling impact on the state's economy.

Joining Chamber officials at the news conference will be representatives from the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, American Chemistry Council, National Association of Manufacturers, National Black Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business Legal Foundation.

Media coverage is welcome.

The PA Chamber of Business and Industry logo is available at: