Fourth Roundup Injury Trial Scheduled For August
Bayer has defended three Roundup injury lawsuits in court. The pesticide manufacturer has lost all three. California juries have ordered the company to pay more than $2.2 Billion in damages to four different plaintiffs. A fourth trial has been scheduled to begin later this summer. This time, however, a Missouri jury will get to weigh in on the controversial Roundup issue.
77 Plaintiffs Blame Monsanto For NHL Diagnoses
77 different plaintiffs, all of whom have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, have requested a jury trial in St. Louis. Each plaintiff claims to have developed cancer after using Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer continuously for between 2 and 40 years. The lawsuit accuses Monsanto – now Bayer – of representing Roundup as “safe to humans and the environment,” despite studies saying otherwise.
Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that:
- Glyphosate is carcinogenic, meaning that it causes cancer;
- Monsanto has known for decades about the health risks associated with Roundup; and
- The company falsely advertised its profitable pesticide and misled consumers to believe it was safe.
In other words, Monsanto is accused of selling a dangerous product and failing to warn consumers about the risks. Now 77 people believe that they’ve been diagnosed with a devastating disease because Monsanto prioritized profits over human health.
Gordon v. Monsanto
The first of these cases will be tried in the St. Louis County Circuit Court, beginning in August of 2019.
This is when Sharlean Gordon will get her day in court. Gordon, who is in her 50s, claims that she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup continually for no less than 15 years. She purchased the product and believed it was safe because of Monsanto’s claims. Now she’s demanding compensation, claiming that she was misled.
Pressure Builds on Bayer to Settle
Bayer has vowed to appeal each of the multi-million dollar verdicts that resulted from the first three Roundup trials. Punitive damages accounted for the vast majority of those verdicts. It seems clear that jurors not only believe that glyphosate causes cancer, but that Monsanto intentionally buried that information and misled consumers.
While Bayer may succeed in having those jury awards reduced, future juries will likely continue to decide in favor of injured Roundup users. A California judge appears to agree. Bayer and the next California plaintiff were ordered to enter mediation. The parties are required to attempt to give a good faith effort to settle the matter out of court.
Continued losses in court will build pressure on Bayer to settle. However, settling doesn’t necessarily require the company to admit fault or liability. Instead, Bayer can agree to resolve Roundup disputes privately without causing further damage to its brand and stock value. This may be the most attractive option, especially considering its most recent loss in court.