Roundup Lawsuit Signed Cases
Roundup is the world’s most popular herbicide and the target of legal claims of about 18,000 people. The product is used to kill weeds but it also may have killed many of those using it. Plaintiffs claim one of Roundup’s ingredients, glyphosate, caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, potentially lethal cancer of the immune system.
If your firm is involved in Roundup litigation or would like to be, ZeroRisk Cases® can help you get the clients you need. Our Monsanto Roundup lead generation team offers mass tort marketing for law firms looking to reach more clients and grow their litigation practice as a whole.
Roundup works by inhibiting an enzyme in plants called EPSP synthase. Without that enzyme functioning, plants can’t create other proteins needed to growth, so they yellow and die. Most plants use this enzyme, so almost all plants are susceptible to glyphosate.
Roundup was first commercially sold by Monsanto in the 1970’s. The company also developed Roundup-resistant commercial crop seeds. By using it farmers could save a lot of time and energy by spraying it widely on crops and weeds, killing the weeds, without having to try to kill particular weeds in the field.
Roundup trials successful so far
The problems for Monsanto first came to public light in 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, released a report stating there was a link between glyphosate and cancer. The organization designated it as a possible carcinogen and since then thousands of people have come forward blaming their cancer diagnoses on long-term Roundup exposure at home, at work and on farms. Monsanto, which was purchased by German chemical and drug giant Bayer for $66 billion in 2016, denies there’s any connection between Roundup and cancers by those who’ve used it. That hasn’t prevented some plaintiffs from successfully suing the company.
- Dewayne Johnson was diagnosed with a terminal case of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that the California groundskeeper claims was caused by regular Roundup exposure at his job. His lawsuit was successful with a damages award of $78 million. The jury found in his favor after deciding Monsanto failed to warn users of the potentially cancer-causing chemicals in Roundup.
- Plaintiff Edwin Hardeman alleged it caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after years of use on his properties. His successful legal claims ended with a $25 million award.
- A married California couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, alleged they both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma over time. Their successful legal claims ended in an $87 million award (it was reduced down from an initial $2 billion verdict, mostly punitive damages).
Some evidence used for plaintiffs’ claims:
- A study showing the chemicals making up Roundup are more toxic than glyphosate by itself and harmful to human placental, embryonic and umbilical cells.
- Another study established glyphosate can interrupt natural cell-cycles, which can lead to cancer.
As in so many mass toxic court cases, it’s not so much the dangerous product that hurts the defendant, it’s the fact it tried to cover up it’s dangerous that gets juries on the side of plaintiffs.
In these trials Monsanto has been accused of:
- Influencing research on glyphosate. Scientists and journalists were paid to get bylines and endorse research favoring glyphosate that was written by Monsanto employees, and,
- Working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency to help bury a negative review of glyphosate released by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Potential settlement of Roundup cases
A U.S. judge overseeing about 900 federal Roundup lawsuits in California appointed prominent attorney Kenneth Feinberg as mediator for court-mandated settlement talks in April, after the parties failed to agree on a mediator for the cases. He has led mediation for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal and General Motors ignition switch litigation.
Bayer is appealing the three trials it has lost so far and announced it would defend itself in all future cases, claiming overwhelming scientific research supports its defense. It announced it’s “constructively engaging” in mediation talks but the company’s chief executive has stated the company would only consider a “financially reasonable” settlement if the company can end all litigation, according to the Economic Times. To settle mass product liability litigation involving products that may have caused cancer in the past and may do so in the present and future, defendants could create a fund that could be used to compensate current and future claimants using criteria agreed to amongst the parties.
A problem with this approach is, unlike asbestos, Roundup doesn’t have a “signature” condition. While asbestos is recognized as causing mesothelioma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma’s cause may have any number of factors. Around 74,000 people in the US are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society.
How We Can Help Your Roundup Litigation Practice Grow
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