Two California Roundup Trials Scheduled For January Postponed Amid Settlement Discussions
To date, there are more than 42,000 Roundup injury lawsuits pending in courts across the United States. Many of those lawsuits involve children who, after being exposed to Roundup weed killer in their own backyards, developed devastating health issues. Two of those lawsuits were originally scheduled to go to trial in January 2020. However, those plans are on hold for the moment.
Bayer has lost the first three – and only three – Roundup cases to go to trial. All of those cases involved adults. Juries ordered Bayer to pay more than $2 Billion in compensatory and punitive damages. Even though those awards have been reduced – and Bayer still vows to appeal – that’s quite a statement. If juries are eager to award adult victims such high awards, imagine what they might award young kids.
So, rather than fight two young plaintiffs in court – both of whom are younger than 15 – Bayer has really ramped up settlement negotiations. The two California cases originally scheduled to begin next month will be postponed while the pesticide giant attempts to negotiate with the young plaintiffs and their families privately outside of the courtroom.
Children Reportedly Affected by Roundup Weedkiller At Home, School
Roundup weedkiller is the most widely used pesticide in the world. It’s sprayed everywhere – crops, farms, fields, parks, playgrounds, backyard, gardens, schools, and almost anywhere else that’s green. For a long time, Roundup was applied so liberally because Monsanto, the company that first developed and sold the product, was adamant that the pesticide was perfectly safe for humans. However, research and internal Monsanto documents now suggest that the company’s assurances simply weren’t true.
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is believed to be carcinogenic. That means that exposure can cause cancer. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic.” Other studies have shown that those who are frequently exposed to glyphosate are more likely than others to be diagnosed with cancer. Specifically, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
That’s frightening information, especially when considering that Monsanto – now Bayer – continues to claim that its weed killer is safe. Monsanto’s own internal documents and research suggest that those statements are outright lies. There’s evidence to show that Monsanto has engaged in unsavory practices to downplay the adverse effects of Roundup to boost sales and profits. It’s reportedly ghostwritten scientific studies, conspired with government agencies, and engaged in intimidation practices to stop damning studies before they can begin.
American Children Have the Highest Levels of Glyphosate in Their Urine
Who pays the price for Monsanto’s lies and deceit? Children. In 2016, researchers at the University of California San Francisco published the results of a study that looked at Roundup exposure in Americans.
The research results were alarming. Glyphosate was found in the urine of 93 percent of the individuals studied. The average person had an average level of 3.096 parts per billion. Children had even higher rates of glyphosate in their urine – 3.586 parts per billion.
To put that in context, a similar study in the European Union a few years earlier revealed that about 44 percent of research participants had traces of glyphosate in their urine. The average level was about 1 part per billion – much lower than levels found in Americans.
Bayer Hopes to Avoid Bad Press By Settling Privately
Bayer wants to avoid another billion-dollar jury award. However, the company also wants to avoid the bad press and publicity that accompanies fighting young cancer victims in court. It’s very possible that Bayer will offer seven or eight figures to each of the young victims during settlement negotiations.
However, in doing so, Bayer can keep the details of the settlement and dispute private. It can pay the young victims a ton of money – but with the requirement that any details of the settlement are never made public. By settling out of court, Bayer can fly under the radar and stop its stock prices from taking another post-verdict dive.
If the young victims go to trial, there’s a strong possibility they’ll win. Juries in California seem eager to make Bayer pay for its fraudulent and harmful practices. However, jury awards can be reduced. Jury awards can be appealed. It could be years before the victims actually get a check. Settling might allow them to secure cash in their hands sooner – rather than later. That could be a really important consideration, especially as the young plaintiffs and their families are struggling with the rising costs of healthcare and cancer treatments.