Roundup Lawsuit 2019
Lawsuits filed against Monsanto claim that the famous weed killer Roundup might cause cancer, including the very lethal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The agrochemical corporation allegedly downplayed the risks and failed to warn the public about the toxic effects of their product. If you are a gardener, farmer, agricultural laborer or any other type of professional who has been diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to glyphosate, you may be eligible to receive a monetary compensation.
Last updated: April 29, 2019
What is Roundup?
Roundup is the most widely-used grass and weed killer worldwide, earning Monsanto $4.8 billion in revenue every year. Its main ingredient, glyphosate, kills the weeds by destroying some enzymes that are essential to the plants’ growth. Since at least 250 million pounds of this herbicide are sprayed yearly on crops, parks, gardens, lawns and driveways, several types of genetically modified (GMO) plants have been engineered to resist its killing power. Monsanto itself engineered these GMOs to be able to sell their seeds to farmers at a very steep price. The combined effect of the weed-killing effects of Roundup and GMOs intrinsic robustness produces superior crops with high yields.
Why is glyphosate dangerous?
Over the last few years, several studies showed that exposure to Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate could increase the risk of cancer, especially a lethal type of leukemia known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The weed killer has been associated with several other types of lymphoma and leukemias though, and it is even more dangerous since the manufacturer always downplayed its risks. Professional workers who are constantly exposed to this substance, such as gardeners, farmers or even just park employees and landscapers, never knew they had to protect themselves from breathing it while doing jobs.
Glyphosate is rapidly biodegradable, but its residues can reach alarming levels in food and water since it keeps accumulating in human and animal tissues and can contaminate water. In 2016, The Alliance for Natural Health USA found high concentrations of this chemical compound in common food products such as eggs, coffee creamer and breakfast cereals. Newer commercial formulations of Roundup often contain adjuvants which further increase glyphosate’s carcinogenicity and toxicity, and have never been taken into account by international regulatory agencies.
Was Monsanto willfully deceiving the public?
According to court documents acquired by a court in San Francisco, Monsanto was fully aware that glyphosate was inherently dangerous, and willfully decided to downplay its risks to inflate its profits. The agricultural giant allegedly paid some ghostwriters to modify the safety reports published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and remove the parts that showed the weed killer’s toxicity.
Monsanto also actively tried to stop California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) from adding glyphosate toe the state’s list of known carcinogens. The governmental agency simply tried to protect the public from this serios threat, but the multinational answered by suing it.
Roundup Class Action Lawsuit
The Roundup Class Action Lawsuit (Case No: BC 578 942) is older than the MDL, and was filed in April 2015 in Los Angeles County, California. The accusations against Monsanto include failure to warn about Roundup’s dangers, false advertisement, and purposely downplaying its risks to make it appear harmless to human health. The company kept claiming that the enzymes disrupted by the herbicide are not found in pets and people.
The Roundup Multidistrict Litigation MDL No. 2741
Several law firms across the United States started filing Roundup lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs who want to hold Monsanto responsible for the harmful side effects of the controversial herbicide. Attorneys allege that thousands of people may have developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other types of cancer after glyphosate exposure.
On February 1, 2016, plaintiff Edward Hardeman filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. 3:16-cv-00525), claiming he was diagnosed with cancer after decades of exposure to the dangerous chemical. The man used Roundup to eradicate poison oak and weed in his property in Sonoma Country. On April 13, 2016, a federal judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit, opening the doors to a storm of new litigations that quickly flooded courts all over the country.
After dozens of lawsuits have been filed in less than six months, in October 2016, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated them in the MDL No. 2741 — In RE: Roundup Products Liability MDL. The cases have been centralized in the Northern District of California, overseen by Honorable Judge Vince Chhabria. As of April 2019, more than 900 cases are currently pending across state and federal courts across the country.
Roundup Settlements and Verdicts
In August 2018, a court in San Francisco awarded $289 million to DeWayne Johnson, a 46-year-old school groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup for work purposes. Since the scientific documentation on glyphosate’s safety was allegedly manipulated by Monsanto, Judge Curtis Karnow had to issue an order requesting jurors to avoid using it as evidence during the trial.
More recently, on March 27, 2019, the court returned its verdict in favor of another plaintiff from California, Edwin Hardeman. The 70-year-old man has been awarded $80 million in damages after the jury ruled that Roundup caused his cancer. Hardeman’s case is particularly important since is a “bellwether trial”, used as a sample for similar lawsuits and settlements.