2018 Roundup Lawsuit News: In October 2018, a San Francisco judge denied Monsanto’s motion for a new trial, giving Dewayne Johnson a final award of $78.5 million in damages. As a result, the number of glyphosate lawsuits against Monsanto has ballooned to more than 9,300 cases. If you or a loved one has developed cancer as a result of exposure to Roundup, talk to a lawyer about your legal rights.
Popular weed killer Roundup, developed by Monsanto (which was recently acquired by German pharmaceutical and chemical giant, Bayer), has been on the market since the 1970s and is widely used by farmers and homeowners alike in over 160 countries. Over the past several years, however, thousands of people have filed lawsuits claiming that the product’s active ingredient glyphosate can cause several types of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).
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Why are Roundup Lawsuits Being Filed?
Monsanto developed the herbicide glyphosate in 1970 to kill the weeds and grasses that compete with and harm crops. Monsanto marketed the chemical as Roundup Weed Killer, and by 2007 it became the most used herbicide in United States agriculture. An estimated 1.4 billion pounds of Roundup are used in over 160 countries each year.
Roundup has increased in popularity since Monsanto introduced genetically modified seeds resistant to glyphosate, allowing farmers to spray the product everywhere without worrying about killing crops. Roundup Ready crops, as they are called, include plants like corn, soybean, and cotton, and they account for over 270 million pounds of crops each year.
Despite its fast-growing popularity, Roundup has been called into question within the past several years. Thousands of Roundup users have filed lawsuits alleging that they have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, b-cell lymphoma, leukemia, or other forms of cancer after using the product.
Does Roundup Cause Cancer?
There has been a lot of debate around the dangers of Roundup, specifically the herbicide glyphosate. Conflicting scientific studies have been released around its safety, with Monsanto representatives arguing that most studies have not found a cancer risk from glyphosate exposure.
Many, however, look to a 2015 assessment of glyphosate released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which falls under the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency’s evaluation explored the safety of five pesticides on the market, specifically working to determine if the agents could be considered carcinogenic. Through their investigation, the IARC labeled glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” or Group 2A. This category is determined for agents in which evidence available of carcinogenicity in humans is a bit limited at the time, but a positive link between the agent and cancer still exists.
Representatives of the IARC have adamantly stood by this evaluation, even speaking out as recently as February 2018 to defend their findings again. The agency said the monograph is a crucial first step for further research into glyphosate and other pesticides to better determine carcinogenicity and what levels of exposure specifically can be linked to these various types of cancer.
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In their own research, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) originally stated back in 1995 that glyphosate should be labeled as a probable human carcinogen. But in more recent years, the agency has changed its mind and argued that glyphosate is not carcinogenic and actually has low toxicity for humans, as long as it is used according to the label directions.
In their most recent drafted assessment released in December 2017, the EPA went further to say that the pesticide also shows virtually no toxicity to animals, including birds, that encounter glyphosate in the natural environment. The pesticide won’t have their final review decision in place until 2019, while they conduct their own further research and evaluate other studies as well.
Despite the discrepancies between these two agencies, there have been many other medical studies observing the impact of glyphosate on farmers and other populations. These observed health risks have led to several countries, including Sri Lanka and Mexico, to outright ban it glyphosate or impose stricter regulations on its use.
Potential Monsanto Coverup
According to Bayer’s financial filings, approximately 9,300 cancer patients and their families have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, claiming the company was aware of the dangers of glyphosate all along and didn’t properly warn consumers. Despite the many studies and IARC’s findings, Monsanto adamantly refutes claims that glyphosate and Roundup are harmful to health. In recent lawsuits, however, lawyers discovered that Monsanto’s claims of safety may not be the full story.
In a recent Monsanto lawsuit, unsealed documents and emails emerged suggesting Monsanto had in fact ghostwritten several scientific papers to help ensure that glyphosate was found to be safe to use in the EPA’s evaluation of the widely used herbicide. Roundup cancer lawyers found that company executives were working with a former EPA employee to refute claims that glyphosate was dangerous and try to squash an investigation into the agent.
Monsanto was allegedly made aware of the potential evaluation of the herbicide months ahead of time, enabling them to prepare for a full public relations attack against studies supporting a cancer link. Documents show Monsanto had two scientific papers ghostwritten and attributed to academics to disprove claims that glyphosate causes cancer. These documents were then used by the EPA to make a determination that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.
Roundup Settlements and Verdicts
Monsanto is faced with 9,300 lawsuits as a result of its Roundup cancer-causing ingredients. A Roundup class action lawsuit (Case No: BC-578-942) was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Monsanto’s false advertising that the products were safe to use. The lawsuit claims the company deliberately falsified documents and concealed information that glyphosate is dangerous to humans and environmental health.
Due to the growing number of lawsuits against these products, nationwide litigation has also been consolidated under MDL No. 2741 under U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California. There are over 584 lawsuits pending under the multidistrict litigation, with the next case set for trial in February 2019. Roundup attorneys estimate there are well over 3,500 plaintiffs so far seeking legal action against the agricultural company, many of whom are agricultural workers.
Featured Roundup Lawsuit: Dewayne Johnson
Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson is a former school groundskeeper for a California county school system who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after years of using Roundup weed-killer and other glyphosate-based herbicides. According to Johnson, he used the product as many as 30 times per year, and on at least two occasions spilled a substantial amount of the chemical on his body.
In January 2016, Johnson filed a Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto, claiming that his use of Roundup contributed significantly to the development of his cancer. Because he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, California state law allowed Johnson to seek a fast-track lawsuit – though, the case still took nearly two and a half years to reach a jury trial. He built his case around the classification of glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the fact that not enough testing has been done on Roundup’s formulation, which includes other chemicals in addition to glyphosate.
On August 10, 2018, the San Francisco jury returned with a verdict that awarded Mr. Johnson $289 million ($39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages). Monsanto appealed, asking for a new trial. However, in October 2018, a judge ruled against Monsanto, and the final amount awarded to Mr. Johnson and his family was $78.5 million.
Roundup Lawsuit FAQ’s
Am I Eligible to File a Roundup Lawsuit?
Anyone who has used Monsanto’s Roundup and later been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or another form of cancer may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Surviving family members may also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Monsanto, should their loved one have passed away as a result of their cancer. Talk to a lawyer about your legal rights and learn more about your eligibility.
What Compensation Can I Receive From a Roundup Lawsuit?
Cancer patients who have an established history of using Roundup may be eligible for compensation to help cover medical expenses, lost income, and for the pain and suffering caused by a cancer diagnosis. Talking to a law firm with experience in handling similar cases can be beneficial to helping you understand what you may be awarded in a case. Talk to a lawyer to find out how much you could receive from a Roundup lawsuit.
How Can I Pay for a Roundup Lawyer?
Many attorneys who specialize in this area of the law will provide a free case review to determine your eligibility and options, and will take on your case on a contingency basis. This means you will only be required to pay your Roundup lawyer if they are able to receive a settlement or verdict on your behalf. You will not need to pay your lawyer any fees up front.
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