Roundup Weed Killer Lawsuit
(Updated May 2020)
Monsanto’s Roundup Weed and Grass Killer (or glyphosate) is the most popular herbicide in the world and the most heavily used agricultural chemical of all time. It’s also one of the most controversial herbicides on the market. Thousands of people are questioning Roundup’s safety in lawsuits that claim the weed killer caused their cancer.
Scientific studies show an association between glyphosate and an increased risk of cancer, especially among those who frequently have direct contact with the chemical. Over 52,000 U.S. lawsuits—and counting—have been filed on behalf of agricultural laborers, gardeners, and others diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup. So far, Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, has lost all three Roundup lawsuits that went to trial, with juries delivering verdicts of $289 million, $80 million, and $2 billion.
If you were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup, contact our legal team for a free case review. You may be entitled to compensation.
EPA, Who Issue Contrasting Glyphosate Findings
Though glyphosate has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, governing bodies are hesitant to admit it. Only the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), has declared that the chemical is a “probable” carcinogen.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—which posted a report that said glyphosate does not cause cancer, then quickly took it down—continues to claim that glyphosate poses no risks to public health when it is used directed. In 2013 though, they doubled the maximum glyphosate levels for food and oilseed crops (including soybeans), making it easier for Monsanto to market the product as “safe.”
Recent lawsuits allege that EPA officials may have purposely altered their research to support Monsanto. A court filing included correspondence from EPA toxicologist Marion Copley accusing EPA scientist Jess Rowland of playing “political conniving games with the science.” Additional court documents have raised questions about lax oversight of pesticides by EPA. In 2019, EPA continued to side with Monsanto when it refused to approve California cancer warning labels on Roundup and other glyphosate products. And, in early 2020, EPA released its regulatory review of glyphosate, which further claimed that glyphosate is not a carcinogen and there are no risks of concern to human health if it is used according to the label. In March 2020, a coalition of five groups representing farmers and food-safety advocates sued the EPA in federal appeals court, accusing it of having unlawfully determined its claims in its regulatory review.
A growing number of juries, however, side with IARC’s glyphosate position over EPA’s. One of the attorneys representing Alva and Albert Pilliod, recipients of a $2 billion Roundup verdict, said, “The simple fact is that the EPA has got it wrong on glyphosate. We have study after study after study showing that it in fact does cause a specific type of cancer called lymphoma. And we see it happening in thousands and thousands of people across the country.”
Communities worldwide have banned the use of glyphosate, including more than 50 U.S. cities and counties. Austria recently became the first European Union country to ban glyphosate, while France plans to do so by 2023. The Czech Republic, Italy, and the Netherlands also have glyphosate restrictions. Luxembourg recently became the first European Union country to ban products containing glyphosate, while Germany and France both have plans to do so by 2023. Austria, which had voted to ban glyphosate in July 2019, was forced to halt its ban months later. The number of countries with glyphosate restrictions also continues to grow, with the Czech Republic, Italy, Vietnam, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands having restrictions in place.
Suffice it to say that, despite what EPA and Bayer claim, there is strong evidence supporting a glyphosate-cancer link.
Monsanto Faces Protests Worldwide
Because glyphosate is sprayed around the world, the fight against Monsanto is truly a global one. Europe is especially vocal against the company; protests have become only more common since the proposed merger of German-based Bayer and Monsanto in September 2016.
Scientific studies show an association between glyphosate and an increased risk of cancer, especially among those who frequently have direct contact with the chemical.
The first International Monsanto Citizen Tribunal concluded in April 2017 at The Hague. The mock trial, overseen by five judges, was intended to obtain a symbolic international legal ruling against Monsanto for crimes against the environment and human health.
The judges discussed the conflicting studies on glyphosate’s toxicity. They ultimately concluded that the internal documents alleging Monsanto influenced the EPA “make hollow the so-called scientific controversy about the risks glyphosate pose on health.” The judges hoped civil servants, lawyers, and judges would act upon their ruling and ultimately change international law to hold the company accountable.
2019 marked the seventh annual “Global March Against Monsanto” to protest against glyphosate and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Criticisms of the company’s practices have only grown since documents revealed that Monsanto compiled dossiers on, and sought to discredit, activists in Europe and the United States.
Farmers and Gardeners File Lawsuits Against Monsanto
Since the IARC confirmed that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen, thousands of Roundup users suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have filed lawsuits against the company.
In Nebraska, farmers filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto. Lawsuits were also filed by a Kona Coffee farm owner in Hawaii, and a widow of a California farmer. All of these lawsuits share one thing in common: Farmers used Monsanto Roundup Weed Killer for years believing it was safe, and were later diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Monsanto continues to fight these lawsuits, claiming that their product is safe. In fact, they went as far as to file a lawsuit of their own against California, alleging that the state wrongly listed glyphosate as a carcinogen under their Prop 65 law.
Glyphosate Found In Popular Foods
Lawsuits aren’t just popping up by and against Monsanto; other companies are now forced to confront glyphosate contamination in their products. Quaker Oats, for example, was hit with a lawsuit for deceptive labeling—using the term “all-natural”—when traces of glyphosate were found in their oats. Kellogg’s and Panera Bread face similar suits.
The FDA began testing for glyphosate residue in food products in February 2016. Along with Quaker Oats, they discovered that baby food, honey, and California wine (even organic varieties) contain traces of the chemical.
Long-term, widespread glyphosate usage has resulted in the chemical working its way through the food chain. Glyphosate is now found in a range of popular American foods, including cereal, pasta, granola, snack bars, crackers, soda, cookies, and beer. Scientific evidence suggests that probable harm to human health could begin at glyphosate levels as low as 0.1 parts per billion (ppb). Many foods tested have glyphosate concentrations many times above this amount. Glyphosate has also been found in tap water. One study found glyphosate in the urine of 93% of Americans tested.
As testing continues to uncover glyphosate in food and water supplies—and as more is known about the link between glyphosate and cancer—it’s possible that additional companies will pay a price for using Monsanto Roundup.
What Do Roundup Lawsuits Allege?
Lawsuits filed against Monsanto allege a combination of the following:
- Exposure to glyphosate can cause cancer.
- Monsanto has known that exposure to glyphosate presents human health risks, including a risk of developing cancer.
- Monsanto Roundup labels fail to warn consumers about the risk of cancer.
- Monsanto misrepresented Roundup’s health and environmental risks, ultimately misinforming government agencies, farmers, and the public of its safety.
Who Has Filed Lawsuits Against Monsanto?
People who used Monsanto at their jobs and around their homes have filed Roundup lawsuits. They include farmers, landscapers, agricultural workers, gardeners, groundskeepers, and homeowners. Some of the latest lawsuits were filed on behalf of children who allegedly developed lymphoma due to glyphosate exposure from playing in areas where their parents sprayed Roundup. Former NFL player Merril Hoge claims that his lymphoma was caused by exposure to Roundup when he was a boy doing farm work.
In August 2018, a San Francisco jury issued a $289 million verdict in the first trial against Monsanto’s Roundup. Former groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson used Roundup regularly for his job at a San Francisco Bay Area school. He was involved in two accidents that soaked him with the herbicide, his attorneys said. In 2014, two years after one of the accidents, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The San Francisco jury ruled that the cancer was attributed to Mr. Johnson’s exposure to Roundup.
In March 2019, a San Francisco jury awarded $80 million to Edwin Hardeman. Mr. Hardeman used Monsanto herbicides from 1986 to 2012 to treat poison oak, overgrowth, and weeds on his California property. He learned in 2015 that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury ruled that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing Mr. Hardeman’s cancer. The trial judge later reduced the jury award to a total of $25 million.
And in May 2019, a third Roundup verdict against Monsanto was awarded to Alva and Alberta Pilliod. The $2 billion verdict was the largest so far. Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod used an estimated gallon of Roundup per week for more than three decades on their Northern California property. They were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
ClassAction.com Of Counsel attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is part of a legal team representing plaintiffs in similar Roundup cases. About 18,000 cases await trial in state and federal courts. About 18,000 cases await trial in state and federal courts.
Who is Eligible for a Lawsuit?
Anyone who was exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup Weed Killer and has developed lymphatic cancer, like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, within the last decade may be eligible to receive compensation for their suffering.
Contact Us for a Free Legal Consultation
At ClassAction.com, our attorneys have recovered more than $4 billion in damages, helping the firm gain a national, award-winning reputation. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of exposure to Roundup Weed Killer, we have the experience to hold Monsanto accountable to help you recover compensation.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review. There are never any costs unless we win a jury award or settlement for you.
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