Before he became a lawyer, Sean taught English at a university in Taiwan. He also taught in schools in Japan for two years. Later, he lived in northern India and volunteered as a tutor for Tibetan refugees and monks. As an odd personal challenge, Sean once rode a bicycle alone across the United States.
In 2009, Sean graduated from the University of Washington School of Law and joined Friedman | Rubin PLLP. He is admitted to practice law in the Courts of Washington, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has handled appeals at the state and federal levels. He has also appeared as co-counsel in numerous states. Super Lawyers named Sean a Washington Rising Star, 2015-2019. According to Super Lawyers, “Rising Stars is an exclusive list of top-rated attorneys in specific practice areas who were chosen after thorough evaluation of numerous criteria.” Sean is a member of Public Justice, the American Association for Justice, and the Washington State Association for Justice. Sean works on cases with teams that hold wrongdoers accountable for legal violations and for harm caused in our communities.
In 2022, the Washington State Association for Justice recognized Sean’s work by presenting him with the Gerhard Letzing Public Justice Award. The recognition is “for giving a voice and providing hope to children, teachers, and families of the Sky Valley Education Center, and raising public awareness of the dangers of PCB exposure.” This recognition must extend to everyone working to hold wrongdoers accountable for polluting our communities with toxic PCBs and harming those most vulnerable. It is wrong for corporations to poison people. Corporate misconduct harms our families and degrades the environment upon which we all depend.
PUBLIC SERVICE INFORMATION
PCBs can cause harm at very low levels of exposure. See EPA [Learn about PCBs], [Fact Sheet re PCBs in Schools & Other Buildings]; [Region 10 PCBs]; ATSDR [Toxicological Profile for PCBs]; UN [PCBs, a forgotten legacy?]; National Tribal Toxics Council [Contaminants: PCBs in Everyday Items]; State of Washington, Dept. of Ecology [Priority Toxic Chemicals: PCBs], Department of Health [What are PCBs?], Dept. of Fish & Wildlife [Marine toxic contaminants: PCBs], King County [PCBs in our environment]; American Industrial Hygiene Association [White Paper on PCBs]; and State of Vermont [PCBs]. Learn more about the hazards of PCB environmental contamination so we can take action to create a safer, healthier, and better future for our children and our communities.
PCBs in salmon in the Pacific Northwest (12/2022)
Contaminants in Fish Put Tribal Members at Risk (Pro Publica, 11/ 2022)
Hornbuckle, Keri (2022). Common misconceptions about PCBs obscure the crisis of children’s exposures in school. Environ. Sci. Technol.: 2022, 56, 23, 16544-16545.
Dornan, Keith and Hearn, Jamie (2022). Crossing the Dark and Fearful River: Monsanto, PCBs, and Emerging Tort Theories. American Indian Law Journal: Vol. 10: Iss. 2, Article 5.
Scientists on PCBs: “A major concern is developmental neurotoxicity, although impacts on neurodegenerative outcomes have also been noted.” See Pessah, Isaac N., Lein, Pamela J., Seegal, Richard F., Sagiv, Sharon K. Neurotoxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]and related organohalogens. Acta Neuropathol. 2019 Sep; 138(3): 363-387.
Historians on PCBs: “an enormous trove of previously private Monsanto reports, papers, memos, letters, and studies have been made available to us and this paper is the result of our examination of these hundreds of thousands of pages.” See Markowitz, Gerald and Rosner, David (2018). Monsanto, PCBs, and the creation of a “world-wide ecological problem.” J. Public Health Policy. 2018 Nov; 39(4):463-540.
U.S. Senate Report: PCBs contaminate thousands of public schools, exposing millions of children (Office of Senator Markey, 2016).
Scientists on a “longitudinal study in children to provide evidence of neuromotor impairments associated with postnatal exposure to seafood contaminants from environmental sources. Fine motor speed appears particularly sensitive to the effects of postnatal PCB exposure, which is unusually high in this population.” See Boucher et al. (2016). Altered fine motor function at school age in Inuit children exposed to PCBs, methylmercury, and lead. Environment International 95 (2016) 144-151.
Scientists: “Prenatal exposure to low doses of the environmental contaminants polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, change the developing brain in an area involved in metabolism, and some effects are apparent even two generations later, a new study finds.” (Endocrine Society, 2015).
Scientists: “PCBs and dioxin-like PCBs are carcinogenic to humans” (International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, 2015). IARC Monograph available at: https://publications.iarc.fr/131
Scientists with the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry: results support findings in other health studies, showing associations between PCB exposures and hypertension, blood pressure, and diabetes (ATSDR, 2015).
Scientists: “PCB exposure has adverse cognitive effects even at levels generally considered to pose low or no risk.” See Bouchard, et al. (2014). Polychlorinated Biphenyl Exposures and Cognitive in Older U.S. Adults: NHANES (1999-2002). Environ. Health Perspect. 2014 Jan. 1; 122(1): 73-78.
Scientists: ATSDR updated its Toxicological Profile for PCBs (2011)
Scientists on thyroid effects due to PCBs, PCDFs, and PCDDs: “The data show a dose-dependent decrease in total T4 with exposure to TEQs at levels similar to those found in the general U.S. population. The effects were stronger in women.” See Turyk, et al. (2007). Relationships of Thyroid Hormones with Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Dioxins, Furans, and DDE in Adults. Environ. Health Perspect. 2007 Aug; 115(8): 1197-1203.
Scientists: “Studies in Taiwan, Michigan (USA), New York (USA), Holland, Germany, and the Faroe Islands have all reported negative associations between prenatal PCB exposure and measures of cognitive functioning in infancy or childhood.” See Schantz, et al. (2003). Effects of PCB exposure on neuropsychological function in children. Environ. Health Perspect. 2003 Mar; 111(3): 357-576.
Scientists: “PCB exposure during adulthood was associated with impairments in memory and learning.” See Schantz, et al. (2001). Impairments of Memory and Learning in Older Adults Exposed to PCBs via Consumption of Great Lakes Fish. Environ. Health Perspect. 2011 Jun; 109(6): 605-611.
Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry: Toxicological Profile for PCBs (2000), https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/ToxProfiles/ToxProfiles.aspx?id=142&tid=26
To read more about PCBs and Monsanto, see:
Spears, Ellen G. (2014). Baptized in PCBs.
Elmore, Bartow (2022). Seed Money.
Robin, Marie-Monique (2012). The World According to Monsanto.
Shabecoff, Philip & Shabecoff, Alice (2008). Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children.