Numerous lawsuits have been and are being filed against Monsanto, a large agrochemical giant, for the alleged harm their herbicide Roundup Weed and Grass Killer has caused to its users. For many years now, it has been suspected that glyphosate, a chemical in the poison, was carcinogenic. Bayer, which owns Monsanto, has denied all along the alleged claims of these cancer victims against its flagship product.
Recently a jury in San Francisco awarded a man $80 million in damages, ruling that Roundup was a substantial contributor to Edwin Hardeman’s diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Monsanto intends to appeal the verdict.
The decision of the jury was based on testimony demonstrating the company did know the hazardous properties of Roundup for many years. The claim asserted the carcinogenic nature of the chemicals and the absence of a warning given to customers.
The science on Roundup
In 2015, Hardeman went through chemotherapy to treat his Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He had used Roundup to eliminate poison oak on his large 56-acre property for the previous 26 years. Expert witness testimony pointed to the latest study connecting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to glyphosate exposure. The study’s author, Rachel Schaffer, indicates that individuals highly exposed to glyphosate have a 41% higher probability of contracting NHL than others in the general population. Lawyers for Hardeman claimed they possessed evidence that the company sought to manipulate science and public opinion to minimize the risk of Roundup.
The jury awarded Edwin Hardeman $80 million in damages. Bayer continues to assert that “glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer,” and that “the evidence… will show that Monsanto’s conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman’s cancer.”
Continual litigation over Roundup
There are many other lawsuits claiming Roundup leads to cancer. In fact, some 11,200 suits are pending in the United States courtrooms presently. Approximate 760 of these are being held in front of the same judge who conducted Hardeman’s case. His case is considered a potential bellwether trial that may influence the decisions reached in other cases. However, Bayer does not hold this view and believes the Hardeman case “has no impact on future cases and trials because each one has its own factual and legal circumstances.”
Last year, another California jury awarded damages in the amount of $280 million to a groundskeeper who came down with lymphoma after exposure to Roundup. Perhaps Monsanto should reconsider their position.
These types of mass tort product liability cases can be complex to litigate, particularly those attempting to link a cancer diagnosis to a particular product exposure. If you suspect your cancer diagnosis is linked to a particular product, it is important to speak with a defective product attorney with experience handling these cases.
The Maryland product liability attorneys at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. can help you recover the compensation you are owed if you have been diagnosed with cancer or any other illness due to a particular product. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation about your case, call us today at 410-730-7737 or complete our contact form.