Roundup Lawsuits Continue to Mount Following Landmark $289 Million Verdict
Written by Faith Anderson on September 6, 2018
Bayer, the new owner of Monsanto, the company responsible for manufacturing the controversial weed killer Roundup, reported last month that the number of lawsuits filed over side effects of Roundup exposure has skyrocketed to 8,000, following the recent $289.2 million Roundup verdict handed down in a California court. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit, which marks the first verdict in the ongoing Roundup litigation, was filed by a terminally ill, 46-year-old former groundskeeper for a school district outside San Francisco, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup and other glyphosate-based products for more than two years. If you believe you or a loved one has been adversely affected by side effects of Roundup weed killer, don’t hesitate to get legal help. Thousands of plaintiffs are now seeking compensation from Monsanto and Bayer for cancers allegedly caused by Roundup exposure, and a knowledgeable Roundup cancer lawyer can help you explore your legal options.
What is Roundup?
Roundup is a popular weed killer originally developed by Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer in June 2018. The product has been on the market since the 1970s and is regularly used by farmers, groundskeepers, landscapers and homeowners all over the world to kill the weeds and invasive grasses that compete with and harm crops. The issue with Roundup is the herbicide’s active ingredient glyphosate, which in 2015 was classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a possible carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer. Roundup use has increased exponentially since Monsanto introduced genetically modified (GMO) seeds designed to be resistant to glyphosate, which allowed farmers to spray the herbicide on their so-called Roundup Ready soybean, corn, alfalfa, canola and cotton crops without having to worry about killing them. However, after decades of indiscriminate Roundup use, recent research has shown that glyphosate may be linked to the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a deadly type of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system and occurs when tumors develop from the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. In response to concerns about the safety of glyphosate, several countries, including Mexico and Sri Lanka, have either banned the herbicide outright or imposed harsh restrictions on its use.
Link Between Roundup and Cancer
Over the past several years, thousands of people have filed lawsuits alleging that exposure to Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, b-cell lymphoma, leukemia and other types of cancer, and additional lawsuits are expected to be filed as more and more consumers become aware of the potential link between Roundup and cancer. This first Roundup verdict was delivered in a lawsuit filed by Dewayne Johnson, who claimed that, as a former groundskeeper for a California county school system, he used Roundup and other pesticides containing glyphosate 20 to 30 times per year. Johnson filed his Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto in 2016, alleging that his exposure to glyphosate contributed significantly to his cancer diagnosis, and because his cancer is terminal, California state law allowed his lawsuit to be fast-tracked. On August 10, 2018, nearly two and a half years after his lawsuit was originally filed, Johnson was awarded $289 million in damages – $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages designed to punish Monsanto.
Monsanto Accused of Failure to Warn
Despite a growing number of studies linking glyphosate and Roundup to the development of cancer, and despite the thousands of lawsuits filed against Monsanto by plaintiffs diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Monsanto continues to claim that Roundup is safe for consumer use and argues that most studies have not found a risk of cancer from exposure to glyphosate. Plaintiffs in the Roundup litigation, on the other hand, maintain that Monsanto knew about the dangers of glyphosate for years and failed to properly warn consumers, and plaintiff lawyers have uncovered evidence that appears to support these claims. Documents and emails unsealed in court suggest that Monsanto had ghostwritten a number of scientific papers and attributed them to academics in an attempt to influence the EPA’s evaluation of the herbicide, and that the company was also working with a former EPA employee to disprove claims that glyphosate causes cancer and put a stop to an investigation into the chemical’s safety.
The Future of the Roundup Litigation
Dewayne Johnson was the first plaintiff in the Roundup litigation to have his case go to trial and the considerable sum he was awarded has resulted in thousands of additional lawsuits being brought against Monsanto by individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers, alleging a coverup on the part of Monsanto. According to one of Johnson’s attorneys, the former groundskeeper contacted Monsanto after being diagnosed with cancer in 2014, wanting to know if there was any link between Roundup and cancer. He was told by the company that there was no correlation between his cancer and the weed killer and so he continued to use the product. Monsanto has long maintained that its Roundup weed killer doesn’t cause cancer and the company will likely appeal Johnson’s landmark $289 million verdict. Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge said in a recent statement that the jury decision “does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews […] support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer.”
How to File a Roundup Cancer Lawsuit
Anyone who has used Roundup and been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Monsanto and Bayer, as may surviving family members whose loved ones died from cancer allegedly caused by exposure to Roundup. If you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or if you lost a loved one to cancer, and you believe Roundup exposure to be the cause, contact an experienced Roundup attorney as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of filing a Roundup cancer lawsuit. With a qualified lawyer on your side, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses allegedly caused by your exposure to Roundup weed killer.