The powerful weed killer has turned out to be a silent human killer. This is the story of Roundup herbicide. When Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018, it took not only the company but also the responsibility of facing the Roundup lawsuits, which were haunting Monsanto at that time. Whether Roundup brought huge revenue or not for Bayer, it kept Bayer on the hot stove to deal with the booming Roundup cancer lawsuits.
The plaintiffs and their lawyers are keeping their fingers crossed as Bayer has won four consecutive Roundup lawsuit verdicts. The three initial plaintiff-favored verdicts, the recent huge settlement, and the court’s denial of certain motions brought by Bayer in the Roundup lawsuits are still giving the plaintiffs of the pending litigations the silhouette of victory for their pain and suffering that is continuing into the future.
The aim of this blog is to break through the details of Roundup lawsuits and the recent updates for the plaintiffs who are eagerly surfing the net in the hope of knowing the roundup lawsuit updates on their settlements. Follow me on the blog…
Table of Contents
What is Roundup?
The weed killer Roundup is widely used throughout the world, including in America. It contains the early 1970s-discovered chemical molecule glyphosate as its active ingredient. It is an organophosphorus compound, more precisely a phosphonate, that works by blocking the plant enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase. Its chemical formula is C3H8NO5P.
It is applied on many surfaces, including playgrounds, parks, gardens, and lawns. Its primary purpose is to eradicate weeds, particularly annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that threaten crops. Although it was designed to eliminate weeds, it also killed crops because this herbicide couldn’t detect and destroy the weeds alone.
Each year, the firm brings in more than $6 billion in revenue from selling this product. Over 250 million pounds of this weed and grass killer are sprayed every year. According to the study, Roundup remains active in the soil for at least six months. The amount used in a particular area and the environmental conditions to which Roundup is continually exposed determine how long it will last.
Chronicle of Roundup Herbicide
A Monsanto chemist named John E. Franz discovered the efficiency of glyphosate as a weed killer. In 1974, Monsanto made it available to the market as a registered herbicide under the trade name Roundup. Depending on some archival evidence from the U.S. EPA, it is proved that the manufacturer was clearly aware of the potential carcinogenic nature of glyphosate in mammals in 1981 itself. In the initial years, the product had found some difficulties as Roundup weed killer destroyed crops too along with the weeds.
Soon Monsanto and Calgene, a biotech company, started research on generating genetically modified seeds that could withstand glyphosate. In 1985, due to the presence of the chemical glyphosate, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified Roundup weed killer as a Group C chemical, which meant a “probable human carcinogen,” based on the presence of kidney tumors in male mice. However, by 1991, EPA changed its stand, saying that there was a lack of evidence to prove its carcinogenic nature.
In 1994, Roundup was considered as one of the top 10 products that changed the face of agriculture in the U.S. as the genetically altered seeds (Glyphosate-resistant) cultivated widely in America gave a huge agricultural crop production. The use of glyphosate increased in multi-folds. The given map will prove how widely glyphosate is used all over the U.S.
Researchers conducted a study of 3,400 farmworkers in the Midwest in September 2003. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published an article in 2003, in which it was published that glyphosate exposure is associated with higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization, recognized glyphosate as a Group 2A chemical (probably carcinogenic to humans). But it also stated that there is little conclusive proof of a connection between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Around that time, many food products in America were found to be contaminated by glyphosate. Numerous researchers think glyphosate raises the risk of developing certain cancers, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and hairy cell leukemia. In 2018, the state of California listed glyphosate on the Proposition 65 list of cancer-causing chemicals, followed by many lawsuits filed by the victims in California.
In 2016 Bayer AG, a German chemical and pharmaceutical company, proposed a deal to inherit Monsanto. In 2018, Bayer AG, bought Monsanto for $63 billion, ending a protracted antitrust investigation and difficult buyout battle. Within a few months, its shares went down due to the group of Roundup lawsuits filed against Monsanto and Bayer.
Adverse Effects of Roundup Weed Killer
For every chemical product, there would be a user guide to make the consumers know the method of use. As per the user guide of Roundup, before using the product, one must be wearing chemical-resistant clothes and gloves to prevent direct contact with the chemical. It should be kept away from the face to avoid eye irritation. Washing of hands is advised soon after the use. Care should be taken to prevent inhalation and ingestion. These warnings themselves give a glimpse of the common side effects of the weed killer.
Eye, skin, nose, and throat irritations, increased salivation, mouth and throat burning, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can be the short-term side effects. However, the most adverse side effects can be linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), leukemia, multiple myeloma, and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
Landscapers, gardeners, groundskeepers, farm workers, and farmers are most likely to be exposed to pesticides or herbicides like glyphosate. NHL, which is most commonly associated with glyphosate, is a type of cancer that can begin anywhere in the body, beginning with white blood cells in the immune system. As a result, the American Cancer Society predicts that 80,000 Americans will be diagnosed with NHL by 2022. Aren’t these details jarring?
Looming of Roundup Lawsuits
On February 1, 2016, Edward Hardeman submitted the initial Roundup lawsuit to the Northern District of California’s federal district court. That ignited the fire of roundup lawsuits filed by many of the victims against the makers. In the end, all of these claims were combined by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) in the Northern District of California (MDL No. 2741) — In RE: Roundup Products Liability MDL, to create a new Mass Tort Litigation in October 2016. It was being handled by Judge Vince Chhabria in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California. Many cases filed under the state court were later moved to this MDL as requested by Bayer.
In May 2019, Hardeman won an $80 million judgment verdict against Monsanto in the first bellwether trial of the Roundup lawsuits. The jury unanimously found that Roundup caused Hardeman’s cancer and that Monsanto had neglected to disclose the product’s known risks. The verdict includes $75 million in punitive penalties, reflecting Monsanto’s heinous behavior in withholding Roundup’s testing and waging a decade-long effort to falsify scientific evidence and conceal the dangers of its deadly product from regulators and the general public.
Later his punitive reward was reduced to $20 million, and in May 2021, a federal appeals court confirmed the reduced award but determined that the judge had correctly overridden Bayer’s objections in the prior appeal. In total, he had won $25 million.
In 2018, a 46-year-old Californian school ground-keeper named Dewayne Johnson won his Roundup lawsuit in the Californian state court. He claimed that he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after the continuous exposure to Roundup weed killer in his job. Though the jury did not determine the link between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the weed killer, he was awarded $289 million in damages, including punitive damages for Monsanto’s failure to warn the risk that Roundup could cause cancer. However, later twice, the award was reduced, and finally, he got $20.5 million.
In May 2019, a Californian jury awarded $2 billion in punitive damages and an additional $55 million in compensatory damages to an old couple in the second Roundup lawsuit bellwether trial. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, both in their seventies, used Roundup for residential landscaping for roughly 30 years, which the jury found to be a significant factor in their development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Alva received a diagnosis in 2011, and his wife Alberta did so four years later. The award was reduced after a few months to $86.7 million.
These three big wins gave the other plaintiffs great hope that they could also win the desired compensation for their suffering. However, there came an unexpected turn of the winds when Bayer had its first Roundup lawsuit win in October 2021. Destiny Clark claimed that her son Ezra was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup, which she sprayed on weeds at the family home. The jury determined that the company was not responsible for a child’s rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In December 2021, Bayer became elated with the second straight win in the Roundup lawsuit. The jury in San Bernardino County ascertained that Donnetta Stephens’ cancer was not caused by her exposure to Roundup between 1985 and 2017. Since the trial took place online with a lot of delays and technical errors, the plaintiff’s attorney felt that the jury could not understand her emotional trauma and the sufferings in its full power. Therefore, he was planning to appeal for a retrial later.
In June 2022, Bayer had its third consecutive Roundup lawsuit win in Kansas. The plaintiff Allan Shelton sought recovery of damages for developing his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from the prolonged use of Roundup weed killer. The jury dismissed the plaintiff’s claims, agreeing with the company that the weed killer was not the cause of the plaintiff’s disease.
In June 2022, Bayer tasted its fourth win against Larry Johnson and Gayle Johnson from Oregon. Larry Johnson had been using Roundup weed killer from 1990 until 2019 in his home garden. In 2019 he was diagnosed with NHL, and he was claiming for his treatment, including chemotherapy, emotional distress, and suffering. His wife Gayle was claiming for loss of consortium. However, the court did not determine that the exposure to glyphosate caused his NHL.
Chronological Timeline of Roundup Lawsuits
February 1, 2016– first lawsuit was filed by Edward Hardeman for getting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
October 2016– All the Roundup lawsuits were consolidated as MDL 2741 in the Northern District of California (MDL No. 2741) under Judge Vince Chhabria.
February 2019– Edward Hardeman’s case was chosen for the first bellwether trial.
May 2019- The court awarded $80 million to Hardeman. Later it was reduced to $25 million.
June 2019– The 22 cases from Wave 1 and 37 cases from Wave 2 were remanded back to their respective district courts for further proceedings.
June 2020– Bayer issued a press release announcing to settle a $10.9 billion to resolve the ongoing and future Roundup lawsuits, including the MDL and the lawsuits in the state courts. A four-year period was proposed to monitor the development of new cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a $2 billion settlement for those new claims in the four-year period. However, it will close the doors for those who might develop the disease down the road. Therefore, Judge Chhabria rejected the proposal.
December 2020– Around 100 cases from the state courts were added to the Wave 3 cases in the MDL.
July 2021– Bayer proposed a five-point plan to settle all the future claims for an additional 4.5 billion apart from the already proposed 10.9 billion. Bayer also proposed to withdraw the Roundup weed killer from the market by 2023 and replace it with a glyphosate-free version for residential use.
August 2021– More than 200 cases were added in Wave 4 cases.
September 2021– Around 500 Roundup lawsuits from the state courts were allowed to join Wave 5 cases, and more than 300 cases were allowed to join Wave 6 cases in the MDL.
January 2022– There were 3989 Roundup lawsuits pending in the California MDL and around 30,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits in the state courts. A group of Roundup customers requested a federal judge in California to approve a $45 million class action settlement in a wrong labeling consumer lawsuit to end their claims that they lost money when they bought the weed killer.
February 2022– Many plaintiffs’ attorneys were requesting the MDL judge to remand more cases back to the state courts to avoid delay. Bayer agreed to a settlement amount ranging from $23 million to $45 million to settle a Roundup weed killer class action lawsuit alleging that consumers overpaid for Roundup because Bayer failed to inform them of the cancer risk involved with this weed killer. About 20% of the typical price consumers paid for Roundup products were intended to be refunded by the settlement. though it is not a personal injury settlement, it will have an impact on the pending Roundup lawsuits.
March 2022– Another Roundup judgment has been appealed by Bayer to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bayer rehashed its preemption defense in a 43-page writ of certiorari that is filed with the supreme court, which other courts haven’t taken seriously. In essence, the claim is that since the EPA has determined that Roundup is safe, any lawsuit claiming that Roundup causes cancer is barred under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a federal law that governs herbicides and their labels.
April 10, 2022– The Supreme Court has asked the Biden administration to file a brief outlining its position on whether the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act should preempt all Roundup lawsuits.
May 2022– A settlement has been agreed between Monsanto and almost 96,000 Roundup lawsuits. Monsanto made a roughly $11 billion payment. This covers almost 80 percent of all the pending Roundup lawsuits in the state courts. However, there are still more than 4,000 claims pending in the MDL. It has also set aside more than $4 billion to settle future claims.
June 18, 2022– Bayer won its fourth consecutive Roundup lawsuit victory.
June 22, 2022– The Court has rejected Bayer’s appeal to cancel the remaining Roundup lawsuits.
June 30, 2022– The Supreme Court rejected Bayer’s appeal motion to reverse the $87 million settlement to the couple Alberta and Alva Pilliod.
We will be updating the other happenings in the Roundup cases here as soon as it occurs. Stay tuned for more Roundup lawsuit updates in 2022…
Roundup Lawsuit FAQs
- Is Roundup still on the market?
Yes, it is still having its presence on the store shelves all over America despite the warnings of many researchers of the carcinogenic nature of the Roundup weed killer and the pouring Roundup weed killer lawsuits. Since EPA changed its stand on the carcinogenic nature and affirmed that its safe for use, it is making Bayer strong in its stand that Roundup is not harmful.
- What cancers qualify for the Roundup lawsuit?
Roundup cancer lawsuits are linked with cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). If you or any one of your loved ones are affected by one of these kinds of cancers, you can definitely proceed with your roundup lawsuit. Though many scientists have proclaimed their anxiety over glyphosate’s carcinogenic nature, there is still no authentic scientific study that has proved that it caused the abovesaid types of cancers.
- How do you prove exposure to Roundup?
It might not be as difficult to prove that you used Roundup as you think. Assemble the required documentation, such as receipts, half-used containers, invoices for landscaping work, or even documentation that you were employed in a profession where herbicide exposure was probably common. You have proof to show the extended period of time you are exposed to glyphosate at work or for home use. The latency period between your exposure and the time of diagnosis plays a vital role. If you have prior other cancer diagnoses, treatments, and unhealthy habits like prolonged smoking, alcoholism, etc., that can also affect your claim.
- What is the average payout for a Roundup lawsuit?
Reports say that from the big settlement Bayer had arrived, each plaintiff would get between $5,000 to $250,000 based on the extent of exposure, the severity of the disease, extensive treatments received, and the need for future treatment. Another report has averaged $160,000 as of the settlement amounts per person from the large payout.
- When should I expect my Roundup settlement checks in 2022?
Many of the plaintiffs whose cases were settled received their checks in 2021 and in early 2022. Others can expect their checks in the later part of 2022.
- How many lawsuits are against Roundup?
As of June 2022, there are around 20,000 to 30,000 claims pending in the courts all over America, including the MDL cases. This is apart from the 96,000 claims, which Bayer had agreed to settle.
- What is the Roundup lawsuit deadline? / Is it too late to join the Roundup lawsuit?
Since all the roundup lawsuits are ongoing, with only a part of them having reached a settlement, you have a bright chance of pursuing your Bayer lawsuit. In the case of disease-related product liability claims like Roundup, the latency period or the date of the discovery of the disease is considered as the beginning period. Therefore, it is better late than never to claim for your damages. Contact a roundup lawsuit lawyer to know the statutes of limitations of your state to know the deadline for your claim.
- Are the victims winning Roundup cases?
Absolutely. As you know, in the beginning, three plaintiffs won huge sums as reparation for their damages. Even this big settlement Bayer had reached recently with around 96,000 plaintiffs was also proof of the defendant’s negligence towards the plaintiffs and the plaintiffs’ victory. Even future claims have more validity based on the extent of their damages. There is a bright hope for the future plaintiffs to get the settlement.
- What Is the Expected Settlement Amount for an Unsettled Roundup Cancer Claim?
The recent announcement of $4.5 billion to settle the future claims will give more payout than the already projected $5,000 to $200,000 to future claimants.
- How to Join Roundup Lawsuit?
Roundup lawsuit attorneys all over the U.S are helping the victims sue the negligent manufacturer. If you have a valid claim against Bayer, contact the best lawyer for the Roundup lawsuit in your area.
- What is the statute of limitations on the Roundup lawsuit?
Usually, the roundup lawsuit statute of limitations in most states is three to five years from the date of the discovery of the disease. There are two statutes of limitations, the personal injury statutes, and the product liability statutes. Some states strictly follow product liability statutes for such disease-related claims. Therefore, make sure which one is followed in your state.
- How many lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto?
Since Bayer inherited Monsanto, the cases were only against Bayer, and Monsanto doesn’t exist in the present. There have been more than 125,000 claims filed against Bayer in the Roundup lawsuits so far. Since many people are exposed to Roundup weed killer, they may be diagnosed with any one of the above-discussed cancers in the coming years. Therefore, more Roundup lawsuits can be sprouting every day. The numbers will surely grow day by day.
- How do you qualify for a Roundup settlement?
If you were regularly exposed to glyphosate-based herbicide and were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or a diagnosis of a related condition, you might be eligible to bring a Roundup weed killer cancer case. The following factors qualify you for a roundup lawsuit if you are exposed to glyphosate.
- You are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and under treatment
- You are just diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and have not started treatment
- You have been treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the past
- You have lost your loved one to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- What’s the latest on the Roundup lawsuit?
As of June 2022, Bayer has reached big Roundup lawsuit settlements with around 100,000 claimants for $10.9 billion, and Bayer’s appeal to change the $87 million reward of Pilliod is blindly rejected by the federal court. The court’s rejection of Bayer’s appeal to cancel the remaining lawsuits came as a great blow to the pharma giant. And it gives hope that the court is intended to punish Bayer for its negligence.
Let us know your queries other than what we have discussed here. Keep in touch to clear your queries…
To sum up,
Roundup lawsuit is one of the most recent mass tort litigations that has shaken the United States like a seismic wave. No one has ever thought that a simple herbicide could be detrimental to rewriting the destinies of the people of America. The more or less equivalent wins for the plaintiffs as well as the defendant can be a little baffling in deciding the future course of Roundup lawsuit proceedings. However, the court’s decision to block Bayer’s move to close all the remaining cancer lawsuits is keeping the flame of hope from being blown away.
The one and only important thing to win your Roundup lawsuit are to have a clear and intact medical record to prove your exposure to glyphosate and the development of cancer. Keep in mind that many of the cases where the medical records are not strong enough are either rejected or failed to create an impact in the court. Many recent mass tort litigations like 3m earplug lawsuits, IVC filter lawsuits, Essure lawsuits, and opioid lawsuits are won by plaintiffs with their solid medical records backing their claims like a strong pillar. Therefore, make sure your medical records are error-free.
Contact the best Roundup lawyer and he might suggest you if you need the help of an expert witness to win your case. An experience Roundup lawsuit lawyer by your side to fight on behalf of you will also make the process more successful.
Let us all hope for the best while closely monitoring what happens in the federal court proceedings on the Roundup MDL and other lawsuits in the coming days.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the ongoing Roundup lawsuits.