It’s no longer news that the popular herbicide, Roundup by Bayer (Monsanto) has been linked to cancer in several long-term users. Since then, several people have commenced lawsuits against the herbicide manufacturers in hopes of getting compensation. In this article, our mass tort lawyers discuss the Roundup lawsuits and the updates on settlements. Contact us if you or anyone you know get cancer from prolonged usage of the herbicide.
What Is Roundup?
Bayer’s Roundup (Bayer bought the weedkiller in 2018 for $63 billion from Monsanto) is the most used herbicide worldwide. It is a weedkiller used on lawns, gardens, parks, farms, playgrounds, and more. In 2015, when Monsanto made nearly $4.76 billion in sales, $1.9 billion gross profits came from herbicide products, mostly Roundup.
The numbers show how helpful Roundup is to its users, primarily farmers. But despite its usefulness, Roundup has a significant flaw. This flaw comes from its number one active ingredient, glyphosate. Glyphosate is the primary ingredient in many herbicides.
Scientists believe that it causes an increased risk for the development of certain cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and hairy cell leukemia. According to Science Daily, researchers with the University of Washington found that exposure to glyphosate — the world’s most widely used, broad-spectrum herbicide and the primary ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup — increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent.
At first, the science behind how Roundup causes cancer was unclear. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) once said that there’s no proof that glyphosate causes cancers in humans. For this reason, many lawyers thought that Roundup lawsuits would be a coin toss between victims and Monsanto.
However, the award of huge settlement sums to victims by juries in different jurisdictions show that indeed Roundup causes cancer in humans. This is mainly evidenced in the punitive damages awarded against the herbicide manufacturer.
What Is the Current Status of Roundup Lawsuits?
In June 2020, Bayer announced that it would pay more than $10 billion to end tens of thousands of lawsuits against Roundup. But despite this announcement, there are still several lawsuits against the herbicide manufacturers. Also, the promised settlement has not materialized, and new cases keep springing up as former users link their illness to the weedkiller.
Below, we look at two significant updates regarding lawsuits against Roundup.
August 26th, 2021
In October 2016, a federal judiciary panel created a new Multi-District Litigation (MDL) for Roundup cases. It meant consolidating all pending and future Roundup lawsuits filed in the federal courts in the Northern District of California under Judge Vince Chhabria.
In August 2021, the judge ordered that a “wave” of over 200 cases be prepared for trial even as parties continue to negotiate potential settlements and individual claims. In a court order issued on August 26th, Judge Chhabria announced the schedule of about 220 “wave 4” cases, including those transferred from District Courts in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and South Carolina.
The court ordered plaintiffs to complete fact sheets within the first two weeks of September 2021. They must provide information about their claims and turn over medical records to the legal counsel of Bayer. Below is the tentative timeline of the trial:
- March 11th, 2022: completion of fact discovery
- March 26th, 2022: due date of plaintiffs’ expert reports
- April 25th, 2022: due date for Monsanto’s expert report
- May 25th, 2022: close of expert discovery
- June 8th, 2022: all Daubert and summary judgments briefs should have been filed
- August 22nd, 2022: date for any necessary Daubert hearing
Following any pre-trial ruling, Judge Chhabria may send back each of the cases to the U.S. District Courts, where they originated for separate trials. The trials would likely commence in late 2022 or early 2023.
August 10th, 2021
On this date, Bayer lost an $85 million judgment sum appeal before a California appeals court. The company filed the appeal in February 2020, claiming they could not reconcile the trial court’s judgment with sound science or their product’s clearance from the federal environment regulator. Bayer’s representatives disagreed with the appeal court’s ruling stating it was not based on law or the evidence at the trial.
How Can a Mass Tort Lawyer Help You?
The lawsuits against Bayer (Monsanto) are not going away anytime soon, and more people would likely file individual lawsuits or join existing ones. However, not everyone who has used Roundup is eligible to file a claim. But our mass tort attorneys at Rueb Stoller Daniel can examine your case facts and help you ascertain whether you qualify or not.
If you do, we will take legal action immediately and ensure you get compensated. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers.