Roundup Verdict in California and Future Lawsuits
Roundup is a product commonly used by homeowners and commercial landscapers to kill weeds, but it has also been accused of killing people. Multiple lawsuits have been filed in recent years contending that Roundup (or glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup) is “dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce, and that it lacked proper warnings and directions as to the dangers associated with its use.”
Now, a jury at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco has decided in favor of a plaintiff who alleged that Roundup caused his cancer. The jury awarded Dewayne Johnson $289 million in damages, $250 million of which is intended to punish Monsanto, the company that makes the herbicide. This verdict sets a precedent for thousands of other cases that similarly claim that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an aggressive cancer that starts in the body’s immune system.
After the trial, Monsanto issued a statement saying that it stands by the studies that suggest Roundup does not cause cancer. The company intends to appeal this decision and continue to defend the product.
In spite of Monsanto’s denials, product liability attorney claim that the manufacturer has known for more than 30 years that there is a link between the use of Roundup and cancer. They claim that instead of warning the public, Monsanto created fake data and attacked legitimate studies exposing the dangers and created a campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers, and the general population that its herbicide was safe.
If you or someone you love has been injured by Roundup or any other dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.
The skilled and seasoned Pennsylvania product liability and Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury due to defects in products. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.
We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation and determine the best way to proceed with your case. Contact us today by calling or by using our online contact form.
What Happened to Johnson?
Dewayne Johnson, 46, applied Roundup 20 to 30 times per year while working as a groundskeeper for a school district near San Francisco, and he had two accidents in which he was soaked with the product. The first accident happened in 2012; in 2014, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
How Carcinogenic are Roundup and Glyphosate?
The major questions raised in the liability case are whether Roundup can cause cancer and, if so, whether Monsanto failed to warn consumers about the product’s cancer risk. In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said the key ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Monsanto argues that Roundup does not cause cancer, and that the IARC report is greatly outweighed by studies which concluded that glyphosate is safe. However, the plaintiff’s attorneys claimed that glyphosate and other ingredients in Roundup interact and cause a “synergistic effect” that makes the product more carcinogenic than glyphosate alone.
In the Johnson case, Monsanto was not required to prove anything. The burden of proof was on the plaintiff to prove that Roundup was a “substantial contributing factor” to his illness. While it is difficult to prove exactly what caused a particular cancer, the jury concluded that Johnson’s cancer would not have occurred if he had not been exposed to Roundup. This is similar to the conclusion now accepted that tobacco can be a big contributing factor for lung cancer.
The jury also agreed that Monsanto does not warn about the dangers of Roundup, which it keeps promoting without warning users of the increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or any of the other diseases linked to glyphosate.
State and Federal Cases
Roundup cases have been filed in both state and federal courts. Johnson’s attorney said that he and other attorneys have more than 4,000 similar cases awaiting trial in various state courts, and another 400 cases have been filed in federal multidistrict litigation, or MDL.
MDL cases are not similar to class-action lawsuits. In a class-action lawsuit, a small number of people bring a claim on their own behalf and on behalf of a class. The recovery then may be split up among others who are said to be part of that class. In MDL cases, each individual has their own separate identifiable claim. Whether an outcome is faster in state as opposed to federal court depends upon the courts.
The Rieders Travis Law Firm, under the direction of Cliff Rieders and in combination with Sasha Coffiner, handles a variety of multi-district litigation throughout the country. Many people unfortunately call 800 numbers or go on the internet for “MDL lawyers.” The Rieders Travis Law Firm does not take a case where they do not meet the client. We are accessible throughout the litigation. With Rieders Travis, you are not a number but rather you are an identifiable person. This is important because oftentimes lawyers from other states find that they cannot bring the matter to fruition because they are not familiar with the state law where the plaintiff they represent lives. We at Rieders Travis only take cases within the jurisdiction where we can practice law.
Get Help – Contact Us For Honest Answers
If you feel you have been injured by Roundup or other dangerous products, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, the experienced attorneys of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters are familiar with the law and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our sizeable staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.