Roundup Lawsuit Updates & News | May 2024

Editorial Team

ConsumerShield

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Editor

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The roundup weed killer has impacted many people, and they rightfully deserve justice for their loss. For such a sensitive case, an experienced lawyer is important for the victims on all counts. The case has a strong basis for the negative impact created by this weed killer on the health of the people.

The Roundup litigation has been a significant topic in the news due to the substantial payouts and settlements associated with these cases. Some of the most recent and notable developments are:

  1. A Missouri bill aimed at exempting Bayer from future lawsuits claiming its herbicide, Roundup, causes cancer is progressing in the General Assembly. House Bill 2763, introduced by Representative Dane Diehl, R-Butler, passed the Missouri House on April 24 with a vote of 91-57. It underwent a public hearing in the Senate on April 30 but a subsequent vote was postponed. Critics argue this represents the legislature prioritizing corporate interests over citizen welfare.

  2. A New York man has initiated a lawsuit against Roundup, claiming the product caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He started using Roundup in 2013 to eliminate weeds and continued until summer 2023, adhering to all usage instructions. Diagnosed in July 2023, his case will join the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in California, consolidating federal Roundup lawsuits.

  3. After months of growth, the Roundup MDL experienced a slight decrease, losing 3 cases last month. This comes after over 100 new cases were added from January to March 2024. The total number of pending cases now stands at 4,279.

  4. Jury selection is underway in St. Louis for a Roundup lawsuit filed by two women from Ohio and one from Oklahoma. The plaintiffs allege that their cancer was caused by exposure to Roundup pesticide. With the ongoing legal battle, another win for the plaintiffs could significantly impact their case against Monsanto.

  5. After a period of stagnation, the Roundup MDL is experiencing a resurgence, with over 100 new cancer lawsuits added since the start of the year. The total number of pending cases has now reached 4,281.

  6. After a series of major losses in recent Roundup cancer trials, Bayer scored a pair of victories last week. A Roundup wrongful death trial in Delaware resulted in a hung jury after 3 days of deliberation. We normally would not call a mistrial a win for the defendant. But after the punches Bayer has taken in the last few months, we can call it a win. These recent successes for Bayer follow a pair of monumental loses in St. Louis and Philadelphia totaling nearly $4 billion in damages.

    On the same day, another Roundup trial in Arkansas concluded in a defense verdict for Bayer.

    You can expect more verdicts in March.

    • Legal Move: Monsanto requests the full Eleventh Circuit to revisit a decision that upheld a Georgia doctor's lawsuit over inadequate cancer risk warnings from Roundup use.
    • Argument: The company contends that federal regulations on pesticide labeling should nullify state law claims, aiming to challenge the Ninth Circuit's contrary stance.
    • Strategy: This attempt, likely to fail, seeks to provoke a legal divergence, possibly prompting a Supreme Court evaluation. Bayer faces a critical choice: settle the ongoing Roundup litigations or gamble on an uncertain legal outcome.
    • New Trial Initiated: The Meyer v. Monsanto trial commences today in California, marking the latest legal challenge against Monsanto's Roundup herbicide.
    • Awaiting Verdict: A verdict is anticipated shortly in the Cloud wrongful death lawsuit in Delaware, involving a man who used Roundup over two decades at a South Carolina conference center.
    • Study Findings: Indiana University School of Medicine reported a significant increase in dicamba herbicide levels in pregnant women in Indiana, correlating with its heightened use in agriculture.
    • Research Data: From 2020 to 2022, 70% of surveyed pregnant women had detectable dicamba levels, up from 28% between 2010 and 2012.
    • Exposure Concerns: The concentration of dicamba in these women's bodies increased more than fourfold, indicating elevated exposure risks.
  7. Two new Roundup trials have commenced in Pennsylvania and Arkansas, with ongoing trials in Delaware and an upcoming case in California, indicating a flurry of activity and verdicts expected in the coming months.

  8. Monsanto has been actively lobbying across state legislatures for immunity from pesticide/herbicide-related lawsuits, particularly focusing on its phosphate mining operation in Soda Springs, Idaho. However, a bill introduced in Idaho for this purpose failed, reflecting the challenges Monsanto faces in seeking legislative relief.

  9. The Cloud v. Monsanto trial, a wrongful death lawsuit alleging Roundup's link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, began in Delaware Superior Court. The case gains attention due to the decedent's occupation as a groundskeeper, potentially strengthening the plaintiffs' arguments against Monsanto.

  10. The Roundup MDL saw an addition of 26 new cases over the last month, marking the largest monthly increase in the past six months.

  11. The jury in the McKvision trial awarded a staggering $2.25 billion verdict. Bayer now faces the challenge of finding additional billions to settle these lawsuits and avoid potential bankruptcy.

  12. The focus is on the ongoing McKivisoin trial, with high hopes for a verdict. Bayer/Monsanto has settled approximately 80% of filed Roundup lawsuits, with some non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) victims already receiving settlement checks.

  13. Recent trends in the Roundup cancer litigation reveal a shift from federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) to state courts, impacting the case dynamics. Key updates include:

    • Reduced MDL Activity: The Roundup MDL has seen a minimal increase in new cases, with only 3 added over the last month.
    • Current Case Count: Approximately 4,200 cases are currently pending in the Roundup MDL.
  14. The plaintiffs' recent winning streak in Roundup lawsuits came to an end last Friday with a defense verdict in a California case. While not every Roundup lawsuit results in a victory for plaintiffs, optimism remains high as trials are set to resume in January.

    Updated Roundup Verdict Scorecard:

    2023

    Jones (California): Defense Verdict
    Martel (Pennsylvania): $3,462,500
    Anderson/Draeger/Gunther (Missouri): $1,561,100,100
    Dennis (California): $332,000,000
    Caranci (Pennsylvania): $175,000,000
    Durnell (Missouri): $1,250,000
    McCostlin (Missouri): Defense Verdict
    Gordon (Missouri): Defense Verdict

    2022

    Ferro (Missouri): Defense Verdict
    Alesi (Missouri): Defense Verdict
    Johnson (Oregon): Defense Verdict
    Shelton (Missouri): Defense Verdict

    2021

    Stephens (California): Defense Verdict
    Clark (California): Defense Verdict

    2019

    Hardeman (MDL): $80,200,000
    Pilliod (California): $2,055,000,000

    2018

    Johnson (California): $289,200,000

    The scorecard reflects the mixed outcomes in these cases and the complexities of such litigation. As we anticipate adding more verdicts next year, efforts will be made to enhance the clarity and readability of this chart for better understanding and tracking of the ongoing legal battles.

  15. In the federal court system, the Roundup class action Multi-District Litigation (MDL) continues with just over 4,000 pending cases. The majority of these cases have largely remained stationary within the MDL for the past several years, indicating a prolonged period of inactivity in the legal process.

  16. Once again, Monsanto has been found responsible by a jury. In a recent Philadelphia case, the company was ordered to pay over $3.4 million to a woman with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), with the jury attributing her cancer to Roundup exposure. This decision by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is Monsanto's fifth successive defeat in such cases.

    In their verdict, the jury concluded that Monsanto's conduct was not only negligent but also reprehensible. They awarded $462,500 in compensatory damages and a significant $3 million in punitive damages. Monsanto's defense, which claimed the plaintiff's NHL was due to her smoking, was unequivocally rejected.

    Updated Roundup Verdict Scorecard:

    2023:

    • Martel (Pennsylvania): $3,462,500
    • Anderson/Draeger/Gunther (Missouri): $1,561,100,100
    • Dennis (California): $332,000,000
    • Caranci (Pennsylvania): $175,000,000
    • Durnell (Missouri): $1,250,000
    • McCostlin (Missouri): Defense Verdict
    • Gordon (Missouri): Defense Verdict

    2022:

    • Ferro (Missouri): Defense Verdict
    • Alesi (Missouri): Defense Verdict
    • Johnson (Oregon): Defense Verdict
    • Shelton (Missouri): Defense Verdict

    2021:

    • Stephens (California): Defense Verdict
    • Clark (California): Defense Verdict

    2019:

    • Hardeman (MDL): $80,200,000
    • Pilliod (California): $2,055,000,000

    2018:

    • Johnson (California): $289,200,000
  17. In a remarkable verdict on Friday, a Missouri state court in Jefferson City ordered a massive $1.561 billion award in a Roundup case. Plaintiffs James Draeger, Valorie Gunther, and Dan Anderson were awarded a total of $61.1 million in actual damages, along with a staggering $500 million each in punitive damages. The jury sided with the plaintiffs, who claimed that prolonged use of Roundup in their lawns and gardens led to the development of their non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.

  18. The Roundup litigation has seen varied outcomes in recent years. In 2023, significant plaintiff victories were recorded in California ($332 million in the Dennis case) and Pennsylvania ($175 million in the Caranci case), alongside a $1.25 million verdict in Missouri (Durnell). However, defense verdicts prevailed in several other cases, including three in Missouri in 2023 and four in 2022.

    Notably, earlier years witnessed large plaintiff awards, such as $80.2 million in the 2019 Hardeman MDL case, and a massive $2.055 billion in the 2019 Pilliod case in California. The trend of substantial plaintiff victories began with the 2018 Johnson case in California, resulting in a $289.2 million award. Despite these large awards for plaintiffs, the number of defense verdicts highlights the unpredictability and varied outcomes in Roundup trials.

  19. Following Bayer AG's third-quarter financial report, a key message emerged from their call with journalists: the company is not prepared to make substantial settlement offers at this juncture. CFO Wolfgang Nickl conveyed to the media, "We're not looking to issue large settlements, especially at a time of limited free cash flow."

    Adding to this stance, CEO Bill Anderson voiced his dissatisfaction with Bayer's 2023 financial performance, pointing out a critical "zero cash flow" situation. This financial predicament, coupled with a reluctance to offer reasonable compensation to victims, signals a concerning phase for Bayer. The company's current approach could potentially lead to more profound corporate challenges if not addressed with urgency and responsibility.

  20. Monsanto is actively contesting the hefty $175 million verdict delivered in Philadelphia. The company argues that the court improperly influenced the jury's decision-making in a deadlock situation during a case that accused Monsanto of failing to warn consumers about the carcinogenic risks of its Roundup product. Monsanto's contention revolves around the court allegedly exerting pressure on the jury to reach a unanimous decision without informing the involved parties.

    However, labeling this as coercion might be an overreach. Judges typically have considerable discretion in guiding juries towards continued deliberations in instances of deadlock. Monsanto’s challenge to the verdict hinges on this nuanced aspect of judicial conduct and jury management.

  21. In a landmark case, a farmworker's discrimination lawsuit against Monsanto has culminated in a settlement. The lawsuit accused Monsanto of unjustly delaying a personal injury settlement, alleging discrimination based on the worker's non-U.S. citizenship status. This action was claimed to breach section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which safeguards against discrimination in contract matters.

    Under the terms of the settlement, Monsanto has committed to a significant policy change: the company will no longer consider an individual's immigration status or citizenship when finalizing any future Roundup settlement agreements. This pledge marks a step towards equitable treatment in Monsanto's contractual practices.

  22. In a significant legal triumph, Bayer has received a favorable ruling from the Ninth Circuit, which declared the California mandate for warning labels on glyphosate products unconstitutional. This mandate was found to infringe upon the First Amendment by compelling agricultural producers to assert a viewpoint not unanimously supported by the scientific community concerning the safety of glyphosate.

    The court's decision underscores the controversy within the scientific world about the potential risks of glyphosate, emphasizing that producers should not be coerced into adopting a stance not universally acknowledged by scientific experts.

    Amidst the court's unified stance, one judge voiced opposition. As the industry awaits the Supreme Court's perspective, speculation arises that Monsanto might preemptively label their products with warnings prior to any Supreme Court involvement.

  23. According to a Law.com report, legal representatives for plaintiffs in the Roundup non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) cancer cases are intensifying calls for Monsanto to resolve about 40,000 pending lawsuits across the United States. The legal teams insist that there is a strong scientific agreement on the harmful effects of the herbicide, advocating for Monsanto to halt sales and proceed with compensating affected individuals.

    With the European Union's recent decision against reauthorizing glyphosate and U.S. regulatory agencies reevaluating its carcinogenic risks, Monsanto's parent company, Bayer, might be more inclined to consider settlements. Additionally, the recent financial blow with $500 million in verdicts within a single week could significantly influence Bayer's approach to resolving these claims.

  24. Yesterday, anticipation reached a peak as the jury in the Dennis case in San Diego went into deliberation. The legal community and plaintiffs closely followed the developments, hoping for a third consecutive win in this pivotal litigation series.

    In a groundbreaking decision today, the jury in the Dennis case concluded their deliberations, awarding a monumental sum of $332 million. The breakdown of this sum reveals a profound statement by the jury: $325 million in punitive damages and $7 million in compensatory damages. This verdict not only marks a historic moment in the Dennis litigation but significantly reshapes the entire landscape of these cases. With this latest judgment, expectations for settlement amounts in related litigations are now scaling new heights, heralding a potentially transformative phase in these ongoing legal battles.

  25. Philadelphia jury delivered a substantial verdict in the Caranci case, awarding $175 million. This amount breaks down to $25 million for compensation and a staggering $150 million in punitive damages. More details will follow as we gather more information.

    This verdict marks a pivotal moment. As we've previously emphasized, this trial had the potential to be transformative – and it has indeed proven to be. The case revolved around an 82-year-old man diagnosed with NHL almost two decades ago, without any particularly unique circumstances.

  26. In the ongoing Dennis trial taking place in San Diego, a pivotal contention raised by the plaintiffs' attorneys revolves around the EPA's 2022 decision to backtrack on its initial assertion that glyphosate, an ingredient in the Roundup herbicide, does not pose cancer risks to humans.

    This change in stance stems from a June 2022 verdict by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court determined that the EPA failed to adequately assess the potential carcinogenic risks of glyphosate. Consequently, the FDA rescinded its initial position and committed to a more in-depth evaluation of glyphosate's safety. This development significantly challenges Monsanto's longstanding defense strategy of leaning on the EPA's endorsement. While Monsanto is anticipated to continue emphasizing the EPA's earlier support, the focus of the plaintiffs' attorneys on this shift in regulatory stance will undoubtedly intensify the debate in the San Diego courtroom.

  27. Despite a series of recent defense verdicts for Monsanto (now Bayer) in various state courts, including a triumph in St. Louis merely a fortnight ago, the tide might be turning as a new Roundup trial commences in Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas. Plaintiffs are hopeful for a reversal in their fortunes in what will be the inaugural Roundup litigation in Philadelphia, noted for being among the nation's most plaintiff-friendly venues. The jury selection kicked off last week in the landmark case, Caranci v. Monsanto, et al., setting the stage for a potentially pivotal battle in Roundup-related proceedings.

  28. a jury in San Francisco awarded a total of $550 million in punitive damages to a couple who claimed that their prolonged exposure to Roundup resulted in them both developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

  29. Bayer announced a $2 billion plan to resolve future Roundup lawsuits. This resolution plan aims to address the potential future claims from Roundup users who may develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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