Monsanto's Round-Up Herbicide May Cause Cancer
Exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup™, the most widely used herbicide in the United States, may cause cancer and other serious injuries. The World Health Organization (WHO) determined that glyphosate, the active chemical in the herbicide, is a Group 2A agent, citing it as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Exposure is linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and its subtypes including: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL or DLBL); follicular lymphoma; chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); mantle cell lymphoma (MCL); and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).
Farm workers, landscapers, construction workers and employees of garden centers and nurseries are at the highest risk of injury due to increased exposure to Roundup™. However, residential home use may also be harmful.
Exposure may happen from direct contact to the skin and/or inhaling it during use when mixing Roundup™ or applying it. Symptoms after exposure may include fever, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, stomach pain, chest pain and loss of appetite. If you are a farm worker, construction worker, nursery or garden center employee, landscaper, or believe you have been exposed, you may be at risk.
Recently, a former school groundskeeper who had been exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup™ and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was awarded $289 million in damages, which was later reduced by the court to $78.5 million. Read more about the verdict here.
The first ”bellwether” trial in the federal MDL took place in the Northern District of California, with the Honorable Judge Vince Chhabria presiding. The trial began on February 15, 2019 and was bifurcated, meaning it was split into two parts or “phases.” The first phase dealt solely with general and specific causation. This meant that the jury was tasked with answering whether Roundup caused the Plaintiff’s (Mr. Hardeman’s) non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The first phase concluded on March 12, 2019. On March 19, 2019, a unanimous jury came back, finding that Mr. Hardeman’s exposure to Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The second phase, where the jury took up the issues of liability and damages, resulted in an award of $5 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages. Monsanto notified the Court of its intent to appeal that decision.
Since the Hardeman verdict, Judge Chhabria has encouraged the parties to engage in mediation and a mediator, Ken Feinberg, has been chosen. Mr. Feinberg has previously facilitated negotiations stemming from the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster, Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
In the meantime, all eyes turned to St. Louis County, where Monsanto was previously headquartered before being bought by Bayer AG, and where trial was set to start in August. With hopes of a more favorable jury, Monsanto sought summary judgment against the first trial plaintiff, Sharlean Gordon in an effort to have her case dismissed. Ms. Gordon sprayed Roundup™ at her Illinois residence for 25 years. However, the judge in the case denied Monsanto’s motion as well as denying its dismissal motion to exclude her expert witnesses; expert witnesses who will testify in support of the allegation that exposure to Roundup™ is a contributing factor in the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The trial was delayed two weeks before starting, sparking false rumors of a potential global settlement with Monsanto’s parent company Bayer AG for $8 billion. Ken Feinberg has stated that no offer has yet been made and the parties are still in the early stages of discussions. Monsanto successfully delayed the start of a second St. Louis trial. A third trial, Winston v. Monsanto, originally set for October 15, 2019, has been postponed. It is set to start in February, 2020.
Let SGB Help
If you or someone you love was exposed to Roundup™ and have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or one of its subtypes, SGB is here to assist you. There is no charge for us to review your potential claim. If we take your case, we will do so on a contingency basis, meaning that you only pay attorney fees if the claim is resolved in your favor.