Have you been hearing about the numerous lawsuits against Monsanto and its product Roundup?
Below are some of the latest stories about recent legal actions involving the controversial herbicide that may lead to serious health problems in some people, including several forms of cancer.
This page is constantly being updated…
Law360 (March 19, 2019, 5:18 PM EDT)
— A California federal jury found Tuesday that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller was likely a substantial factor in causing a man’s cancer, delivering a major blow to the Bayer AG unit in the…
Feb. 28, 2019 More than 11,000 People Suing Bayer For Roundup Cancer Risk
Bayer AG now faces weedkiller lawsuits from more than 11,000 plaintiffs who claim Monsanto’s Roundup and related product led to their cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The German life science company revealed the growing lawsuit figure this week as it announced financial results for FY 2018. The company is currently appealing a ruling from August 2018 in San Francisco that found Monsanto and Bayer liable for a former groundkeeper’s cancer. At the end of 2018, Bayer said that it was aware of more than 9,000 plaintiffs. This means there has been a 20% increase in just 90 days. (Fortune.com)
Feb. 11, 2019 Roundup Weedkiller Banned Near Lodi CA Playgrounds
California now can add the city of Lodi to the number of communities that have banned or limited the use of Roundup. The weedkiller contains glyphosate, which is suspected of being toxic to humans. Effective immediately, Lodi will no longer use Roundup within 25 feet of the town’s 17 playgrounds.
According to Jeff Hood, director of Lodi’s Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department, ‘the issue is on people’s minds. They are concerned about their children. So we felt this move was something we could do out of an abundance of caution to protect the children of our city.” (ABC10.com).
Feb 10, 2019 Lander WY Man Files Lawsuit Against Monsanto for Allegedly Causing His Cancer With Roundup
A Lander, Wyoming man filed a federal lawsuit last week against agricultural chem giant Monsanto, alleging that the company’s Roundup weedkiller caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In this case, Jace Florquist stated that he used the weedkiller around his property from 2008 to 2014 on a regular basis, and he was exposed to it by his neighbor’s use as well. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, which, the suit alleges, was caused by exposure to Roundup products. (Trib.com).
Feb. 6, 2019 Charlotte County Woman Sues Maker of Roundup, Retailers and County Over Her Health Problems
A new lawsuit has been filed in Charlotte County, North Carolina over the health effects of Roundup, the pesticide and weedkiller. One woman specifically is suing Monsanto and the stores that sell it to customers. She claimed the product ruined her health and that of her neighbors.
The woman, Michele Stevens, is suing the county, and also a dozen stores that sell the weedkiller. She told the court that she began to get ill in 2010 and that the symptoms ranged from balance issues, digestive issues, blurred vision, and major fatigue. (WinkNews.com)
Jan. 31, 2019 Oregon Could Become 1st State in Western US to Ban Weedkiller That Kills Trees
A statewide rule in Oregon has been proposed that would reduce the use of a weedkiller that has been linked to the deaths of 1,000 trees near Sisters, Oregon. However, some environmentalists argue that the law would not go far enough.
According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the proposed rule would limit where herbicides that contain aminocyclopyrachlor can be used in the state. This is the major active ingredient that is killing trees in the area.
The rule could take effect by spring 2019, and would ban the use of the dangerous chemical in swamps, canals, wildlife management areas and sage grouse habitat. (OregonLive.com).
Jan. 30, 2019 Health Canada ‘Dead Wrong’ to Ok Weedkiller Glyphosate: American Lawyers Say
American attorneys who were successful in suing the makers of the Roundup weedkiller on behalf of a terminally ill man with cancer, have said that Canada is completely wrong to allow the glyphosate-based product to be used in the country.
Michael Baum and Brent Wisner, both Los Angeles-based roundup lawsuit lawyers, were part of the legal team that obtained a multimillion dollar verdict against Bayer AG in 2018 for a former groundskeeper in San Francisco who thought his terminal cancer was due to years of exposure to Roundup on the job. (TheStar.com).
Jan. 28, 2019 In Blow to Bayer, Judge Will Allow Controversial Evidence in Roundup Cancer Trials
A federal judge that is overseeing lawsuits that allege glyphosate-based Roundup causes cancer, decided last week to allow pieces of explosive evidence that Bayer AG wanted to exclude from the upcoming trials.
US District Judge Vince Chhabria stated during a San Francisco federal court hearing that his decision was probably a disappointment to Monsanto and Bayer AG. But the company continues to deny that glyphosate causes cancer. It maintains that decades of studies show that the chemical is safe for consumers.
Chhabria stated that plaintiffs could bring in evidence of Monsanto’s alleged efforts to ghostwrite clinical studies and influence findings of regulators and scientists during the initial phase of upcoming lawsuits. (Stltoday.c0m).
Jan. 17, 2019 Analysis: EPA Ignored Scientific Research Showing Monsanto’s Glyphosate Causes Cancer
A new scientific analysis from the scientific journal Environmental Sciences Europe reveals the vastly different approaches the US EPA and the WHO took when they determined the risk of cancer from consumers being exposed to the weedkiller glyphosate produced by Monsanto. (EWG.org).
The report shows EPA ignored a large number of independent, peer-reviewed studies that suggest glyphosate can cause cancer in humans. It instead used research funded by Monsanto to support EPA’s position that glyphosate does not cause cancer.
On the other hand, in 2015, after a review of US, Canadian, and Swedish epidemiological studies on the human health effects of the chemical, as well as research on lab animals, WHO’s International Agency for Research (IARC), stated glyphosate is most likely a human carcinogen.
EPA has been getting blowback for its inaction regarding glyphosate. More than 225,000 consumer have signed a petition issued by the Environmental Working Group, calling on Quaker, General Mills and Kellogg’s to get glyphosate out of all their products.
Jan. 15, 2019 French Court Cancels Monsanto Weedkiller Permit in Latest Blow to Ag Giant
A French court has cancelled the license for a glyphosate-based weedkiller produced by Monsanto. (CNBC.com). The move was made over safety concerns. It placed an immediate ban on Roundup Pro 360. This is the latest legal blow for Monsanto, which is owned by Bayer AG.
Bayer, which purchased Monsanto for $62 billion in 2018, is facing thousands of US lawsuits by alleged victims who claim Roundup caused them to develop cancer.
A court in Lyon, France issued a ruling that the approval that was granted by government agency ANSES in 2017 for Roundup Pro360 had not taking into account serious health risks. Bayer stated it dissented with the ruling and is considering legal options. It has cited regulatory rulings and studies that say glyphosate is safe.
Jan. 7, 2019 Bayer Gets a Break on Monsanto With Cotton Seed Ruling in India
Bayer AG’s Monsanto prevailed in a legal battle in India regarding the right to own patents on genetically modified seeds in that country. (Bloomberg.com). India is the largest producer of cotton in the world. This was a rare piece of good news for the company, which has been facing immense, expensive legal challenges in the United States over allegations that Roundup can cause cancer.
India’s Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that the Monsanto patent for Bt cotton seeds is valid. This overturned a ruling the the High Court of Delhi that read some items, such as plants, seeds and animals, may not be patented. A two judge bench referred the suit to the lower court, noting that all aspects regarding Monsanto patents on GM seeds may be considered by the court in Delhi.
Jan. 4, 2019 Bayer Shares Skyrocket After Monsanto Weedkillers Court Ruling
Bayer shares shot up more than 6% early in the month. This was a day after an important court ruling in the upcoming legal battles about whether Monsanto weedkillers can lead to various types of cancer. (NYPost.com).
A federal judge overseeing the legal actions issued the order, which could restrict evidence that plaintiffs consider vital to their cases.
The order was issued by US District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco, and it granted Monsanto’s request to split the upcoming trial into two separate parts. The order will initially bar lawyers for plaintiff Edwin Hardeman from introducing evidence that the company attempted to influence US regulators and to manipulate the opinion of the public regarding the safety of Monsanto’s Roundup and other products.
Monsanto May Have Another Chance in Massive Roundup Cancer Lawsuit
In October 2018, a San Francisco Superior Court judge issued a ruling that will order a new trial for the Monsanto cancer trial from this past summer that resulted in a $289 million judgment against Monsanto. Judge Suzanne Bolanos wrote last week that the plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson and his lawyers did not provide clear and convincing evidence of oppression or malice on the part of Monsanto.
Jurors spent three days deliberating before they came down with a verdict that awarded an astounding $298 million, with $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.
Roundup Ruling Is the First Step in a Protracted Legal War
With company stock dropping and many more lawsuits expected, Monsanto vowed last week to press its legal defense of Roundup, after a San Francisco judge upheld a recent verdict that the product causes cancer.
Legal experts noted the decision will not have much value in courtrooms across the US where similar Roundup cases are pending. But it will probably lead to even more lawsuits. Lawsuits over the product causing cancer went from 4000 to 8000 after a jury in San Francisco awarded Dewayne Johnson $389 million in August 2018.
Monsanto’s attorneys have said they will continue to fight Johnson’s case and every other similar lawsuit in the US. Those suits allege that the active ingredient in Roundup – glyphosate – causes cancer.
It should be noted that a San Francisco trial court decision is not binding on any other court. Appeals court decisions are legally binding in California, but not on state court actions elsewhere.
The company has said in the media that it will not consider settling any lawsuit until there are enough decisions piled up against it.
Why All Roundup Cases Filed in the US?
The unique legal conditions that are present in the United States is what leads to the filing of thousands of lawsuits that allege using glyphosate caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Roundup claims in the US depend upon the 2015 conclusion of the International Agency for Cancer Research, as well as a legal system in the US that is susceptible to these types of suits, contingency fee setups and mass tort law firms.
Experts say that initiating a lawsuit for Roundup plaintiffs is easy because there are so many mass tort law firms in the US that specialize in the deficiency of products and labeling claims. Many of the law firms are willing to file the claims without even being paid.
Plaintiffs Attorneys Are Getting More Calls for Roundup Lawsuits
Lawyers across the US are getting ready to flood federal and state courts with thousands of lawsuits after a California jury awarded $289 million to Dewayne Johnson who alleged that he got his cancer from Roundup. At this time, more than 4,000 people have sued Monsanto. About 480 cases have been handled in California federal court under multi-district litigation. The verdict had $250 million in punitive damages and sent a strong signal to plaintiffs attorneys that have cases waiting to be heard.
According to Johnson’s attorney, this could not have sent a clearer signal to Monsanto that they are in a lot of trouble in these cases, as they have evidence to prove the cancer case anywhere a judge will hear the case. His attorney estimated that at least 10,000 had gotten attorneys, and more are expected soon. He said that after the above verdict came down, 200 more calls came in from potential claimants that wanted to sue Monsanto.
Another attorney in Los Angeles has yet to file a Roundup case because he did not think there was enough evidence about a link to cancer. But the large amount of punitive damages that was awarded may be able to change his mind.
Monsanto is appealing the verdict and motioned for a mistrial because of what they say were intentional, calculated and improper statements made during closing arguments by the plaintiff’s attorney. The plaintiff’s attorney compared Monsanto to Big Tobacco companies and invited jurors to make a big change in the world with a positive verdict. In the closing argument, the jury also was told there was champagne on ice at Monsanto waiting if they decided in favor of the company.
Monsanto also is going to argue that Johnson did not make his case, as more than 800 studies and reviews have determined that glyphosate does not cause cancer.
Other Recent Roundup Lawsuits
Another recent Roundup lawsuit involves a Florida man who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma 10 years ago. The man, John Vicory, told the media last year that he sprayed Roundup for 30 years as a worker for a public works department in Ohio. He is now retired and lives in the Cape Coral area, and he is one of the hundreds suing Monsanto for damages.
According to Vicory, all of the cases that his attorney is handling in Florida are related to Roundup and the development of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. According to attorney Robin Greenwald, there are dozens of studies she has seen in her litigation that show that glyphosate is dangerous to animals and humans. But it is sad there are products on the market that contain this dangerous chemical that hurt people and keep hurting people.
Of course, as noted above, Monsanto strongly denies that Roundup exposure of any kind leads to cancer. That is why many people with a stake in the issue in Florida have consulted doctors that do not have any claim in the case. According to Dr. Raymond Esper, there are certain natural and synthetic chemicals that can cause cancer via carcinogenesis. It is important to remember though that correlation does not prove any causation. A lot of experimental data would have to be done to prove beyond a doubt that any specific cancer is caused by a specific chemical.
Esper would not comment on specific lawsuits in Florida regarding Roundup. But he said that scientists can prove that a cancer was caused by a specific chemical. One would need to look at all of the people who used that chemical for many years and never had a problem. It would require a long epidemiology study.
Farmer in Georgia Also Sues Over Roundup
A Georgia farmer is another person who is part of a Roundup lawsuit. He claims that the key ingredient in Roundup gave him cancer in 2000. Ricky McCombs is one of the dozens in Georgia who are suing Monsanto. McCombs says that he and his wife bought a nine acre farm in 1993 in Georgia that was full of weeds, thorns and scrub oaks. He used Roundup to kill most of that, and he said soon after he started using the Roundup, he got cold chills, threw up and night sweats.
In 1996, about three years after he began to use Roundup, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He and his wife are certain that Roundup is what caused the cancer. He said he used 200 to 300 gallons of Roundup at one time. He was using a tractor with small spray knobs to spray his property. He said they would get regularly clogged up, and thinking that the chemical was safe, he would take the spray tips off and blow them out and keep going. It turns out that this heavy exposure to the chemical may have given him cancer.
- Monsanto Roundup Dewayne Johnson Long Legal Battle. (2018). Retrieved from https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/monsanto-roundup-dewayne-johnson-ruling-long-legal-battle/
- Why Are All Roundup Cancer Lawsuits Filed in the US? (2018). Retrieved from https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2018/10/08/why-are-all-roundup-cancer-lawsuits-filed-in-the-us/
- Monsanto Lawsuit Roundup – Cancer. (2018). Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2018/10/10/monsanto-lawsuit-roundup-cancer/
- Farmer Files Lawsuit Blaming Popular Weedkiller for His Cancer. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.news4jax.com/news/investigations/farmer-files-lawsuit-blaming-popular-weed-killer-for-his-cancer
- French Court Cancels Monsanto Weedkiller Permit on Safety Grounds. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/15/reuters-america-update-3-french-court-cancels-monsanto-weedkiller-permit-on-safety-grounds.html
- Analysis: EPA Ignored Scientific Research Showing Monsanto’s Glyphosate Causes Cancer. (2018). https://www.ewg.org/release/analysis-epa-ignored-scientific-research-showing-monsanto-s-glyphosate-causes-cancer
- India Court Rules Mansanto Patents on Cotton Seeds Valid. (2018). https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-08/india-court-rules-monsanto-s-patent-claim-on-cotton-seeds-valid
- Bayer Shares Jump After Judges Ruling on Roundup Cancer Claims. (2018). Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2019/01/04/bayer-shares-jump-after-judges-ruling-on-roundup-cancer-claims/
- In a Blow To Bayer, Judge to Allow Controversial Evidence. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.stltoday.com/business/local/in-a-blow-to-bayer-judge-to-allow-controversial-evidence/article_50a62161-c1ad-5e63-a407-fa5a127735cd.html
- Health Canada ‘Dead Wrong’ to Ok Weedkiller Glyphosate, American Lawyers Say. (2018. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/01/30/health-canada-dead-wrong-to-ok-weed-killer-glyphosate-american-lawyers-say.html
- Oregon May Become First State in West to Ban Weedkiller That Slays Trees. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2019/01/oregon-may-become-1st-state-in-west-to-ban-weedkiller-that-slays-trees.html
- Charlotte County Woman Sues Maker of Roundup Retailers and County Over Health Issues. (2019). https://www.winknews.com/2019/02/06/charlotte-county-woman-sues-maker-of-roundup-retailers-and-county-over-health-issues/
- Lander WY Man Files Lawsuit Against Monsanto. (2019). Retrieved from https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/health/lander-man-files-lawsuit-against-monsanto-claims-roundup-weed-killer/article_9539bf77-e1b9-581a-a585-f2865341262f.html
- Roundup Weedkiller Banned Near Lodi CA Playgrounds. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/lodi/roundup-weed-killer-banned-in-near-playgrounds-in-lodi-because-of-harmful-toxins/103-ae66ff65-7da2-49ce-85cf-0789b744edf5
- More Than 11,000 People Now Suing Bayer for Weedkiller Cancer Risk. (2019). Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2019/02/27/bayer-monsanto-weedkiller-cancer-risk/