A King County judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that claims toxic chemicals inside the Sky Valley Education Center caused lasting health problems for students, parents and staff.

Chemical producer Monsanto, named as a defendant along with the Monroe School District in the lawsuit, argues the January complaint lacks conciseness, doesn’t connect individuals to injuries, and a claimed manufacturing defect wasn’t proven, according to court documents.

Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle disagreed.

“Though not a model of clarity, the complaint here satisfies (the general rules) and sufficiently alleges its cause of action,” she wrote.

A week after Doyle’s response to the lawsuit, the school district provided its answer to the complaint. Administrators and the school district’s attorney Patricia Buchanan maintain the reports of illness have been taken seriously.

“Any allegation against the district of negligence or wrongdoing is denied by the school district,” Buchanan said.

Nearly $1.2 million in renovations were completed at SVEC in 2016. The building has been tested regularly, and other remediation efforts required by public health agencies have been followed, according to the district.

Sean Gamble with the Friedman Rubin law firm in Seattle is representing the three dozen plaintiffs.

Buchanan wrote in a January letter to Gamble that the accusations “are not well founded.” Concerns about air quality and the health of families and teachers have been aggressively addressed since they were first brought up in the 2013-14 school year, she wrote.

“The school district has been transparent in its efforts to ensure that SVEC is a safe place for students, parents, and District employees,” she wrote.

The building was first used as Monroe High School in the 1950s, then became Monroe Junior High and later Monroe Middle School. The SVEC — an alternative K-12 education program where parents can be a part of their kids’ education — took over the space in 2011.

The complaint states lack of enforcement played a role in the alleged poisonings. For years the Snohomish County Health District, also a defendant, cited the school district for subpar lighting in the building. The group is also suing Monsanto’s affiliate corporations and the State of Washington.

More than 100 students, parents and teachers have reported cancers, thyroid disorders, changes in skin pigmentation and peeling, nausea, dizziness and headaches, according to the complaint. Endocrine, autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders, early puberty and miscarriages were also reported.

The complaint alleges ballasts, which regulate the electrical current in lights, would reportedly burst, and emit fumes containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) — a now-banned inorganic compound associated with environmental and human health risks, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Monsanto was the only commercial producer of the chemical from the 1930s and up to the late 1970s, according to the complaint, which alleges the company manufactured and sold the product for profit despite knowing the risks.

The EPA estimates about 400 million pounds of the chemicals had entered the environment by 1975, according to the complaint. PCBs decompose slowly and are damaging, even in low concentrations.

Children are most susceptible to the toxins, according to the complaint. The chemicals can be inhaled, ingested and absorbed by touch. They can be found in electrical transformers, carried by dust, and permeate furniture and other materials.

Monsanto states in its request for dismissal the company can’t be held liable because the “complaint does not and cannot allege any deviation from Monsanto’s design specifications or performance standards.”

The company also argued the inclusion of historical information muddied the clarity of the complaint. The company called the document “an incomprehensible, confusing and verbose legal brief, replete with the hyperbolic language of a press release.” It is more than 300 pages long.

The school district has done extensive testing on the building in the past five years.

Asbestos, water and air quality studies of the building were conducted by a Seattle-based consulting agency in 2016. PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. concluded cleaning, housekeeping, organizing, labeling and chemical storage methods needed to be addressed, as well as switching out light fixtures and removing PCB-containing caulking.

The PBS assessment also found ineffective heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), mold, chemicals, PCB-containing light fixtures, dust and asbestos were much to blame for the reported illnesses, as well as various other factors.

Plaintiffs said they felt more could have been done.

Former SVEC Spanish teacher and plaintiff Stacey Mullen-DeLand said in January that she and her children are still experiencing complications years after last setting foot in the school. Nodules remain in her lungs, and a doctor confirmed they were the result of recent exposure to chemicals, she said.

“It has not yet stopped affecting my life,” said fellow plaintiff and former SVEC mother Arica Smith-Simmer.