Roundup Lawsuit Attorneys

Monsanto Roundup is a glyphosate all-purpose weed killer manufactured by Monsanto, currently owned by Bayer. In March 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) arm International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans (groups 2A). According to IARC findings, the compound causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma, among other cancers. 

Evidence from the company’s internal emails presented in court proved that this product’s manufacturer was aware of the health risk of Roundup for decades but failed to warn users. Consequently, in 2019/2020, over 100,000 weed users were affected by the chemical filed legal claims, forcing the company to part with over 10 billion dollars in settlements, including future claims. Over 80% of the over 100,000 Roundup lawsuits are already settled, with new lawsuits still being filed. Let the Roundup lawsuit attorneys at Stephens & Stephens help you do the same.

Also, investigative reports and Monsanto internal documents have indicated that Monsanto used many tactics to manipulate scientific records on glyphosate for decades. The regulatory bodies in the U.S. and elsewhere worldwide relied on insufficient data from poorly conducted studies.

The Roundup glyphosate cancer lawsuits

Over 100,000 plaintiffs filed successful lawsuits against Roundup manufacturer Bayer, previously Monsanto, alleging that their exposure to Roundup herbicide led to their development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The plaintiffs also claimed that the manufacturer covered up the risks, with evidence suggesting manipulation of glyphosate safety studies. 

About 80% of Roundup lawsuits have been settled, with some victims receiving their checks and the rest expected to receive settlement within the year. 

With more studies backing up the connection between glyphosate and NHL, Bayer has devised a strategy to settle strong cases that have gone to trial out of court while pursuing the weak ones. For instance, the Langford v. Monsanto Co. et al. (CGC-21-592238), set for trial on November 11th, 2022, at the Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, was settled days before the trial dates, on October 7th,  2022. 

The settlement details remain confidential. In this case, Michael Longford was diagnosed with NHL in 2007. He used Roundup for 34 years, had six recurrences of the disease, and had been given an expedited trial because of his failing health. Other scheduled trials include Pied v. Monsanto (Hawaii), Griswold v. Monsanto (St. Louis) and Freiwald v. Monsanto (California).

After three huge losses, Bayer appears to be winning recently, with six consecutive cases ending in defense verdicts. On the case of Stacey Moore that began in October 2022, in St. Luis County Circuit Court, the court ruled in favour of the defense on all counts. There are still ten more trials expected to be tried in 2023.

The first three Roundup cancer lawsuits were Johnson v. Monsanto Co., Hardeman v. Monsanto Co., and Pilliod v. Monsanto Co., resulting in  $2.424 billion in combined jury verdicts. These agreements were reached following three consecutive trial losses for Bayer and over year-long negotiations.

Pilliod v. Monsanto

A California couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They had been spraying Roundup weed killer around their home for years. The two filed a lawsuit against the product manufacturer, alleging design defects and failure to warn users of the risks of using the weedkiller. On May 13th, 2019, the courts awarded Alva over $18 million and Alberta over $37 million in compensatory damages. The couple also received $2 billion in punitive damages in a trial that lasted for six weeks. 

Monsanto’s motion for a new trial was also conditionally denied by the court as the plaintiffs accepted an $87 million reduction on compensatory and punitive damages. In 2020, the defendant also appealed the court’s decision, but the California Supreme Court upheld the decision and refused further reviews of the case.

In 2022, the defendant requested a review of the case at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), and the petition was denied for a writ of certiorari on June 2022.

Hardeman v. Monsanto 

This was the first Roundup cancer lawsuit federal trial before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria. The plaintiff in this case, Edwin Hardeman, filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, alleging Roundup he had used for decades had caused him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

On March 27th, 2019, the jury awarded him $5,267,634.10 as compensation and $75 million worth of punitive damages. The punitive damages award was later reduced to $20 million in a district court.

Monsanto filed a review of the verdict at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On May 14th, 2021, the company lost again, with the appeals court affirming the district court’s judgment. Also, the defendant’s petition for a writ of certiorari with SCOTUS was denied on June 2022, with the plaintiff receiving a $25.2 million settlement.

Johnson v. Monsanto 

The plaintiff Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, was a school district grounds manager and a heavy user of Roundup. In 2018, he filed a lawsuit against Roundup manufacturer after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury found the defendant liable for product defect and failure to warn users of the product’s potential risks. The plaintiff received $39 million as compensation and $250 million in punitive damages.

The courts reduced the punitive damages to $78.5 million, denying Monsanto’s motion for a new trial based on the reduction. On April 23rd, 2019, the company further filed an appeal. On July 20th, 2020, the California Courts of Appeal First Appellate District ruled in favor of the plaintiff. 

However, the court brought down the jury’s future noneconomic compensatory damages to $4 million, reducing the award of compensatory damages to $10,253,209.32. The jury further reduced the punitive damages award to $10,253,209.32. Monsanto did not take the Johnson case to the supreme court, and the defendant received his settlement in 2020.

The plaintiff’s attorneys, in this case, attributed the reduction in damages to a deep flaw in California tort law but not the case’s merits. They further argued that California law does not allow for the recovery of damages for a shortened life expectancy, rewarding defendants for killing plaintiffs instead of injuring them.

Who can file a Monsanto Roundup lawsuit?

Those eligible for claims are people exposed to Roundup Glyphosate and later diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or B cell, and subtypes such as:

  • large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL),
  • hairy cell leukemia (HCL),
  • cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome)
  • follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), 
  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

Most plaintiffs in these lawsuits are those who used glyphosate in their homes and businesses, farmers, government and agricultural workers, landscapers, and gardeners. 

If you have used Roundup glyphosate and been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, contact our Glyphosate Roundup attorneys for assistance filing a claim. 

Is it too late to file a Roundup claim? No. People are still filing their lawsuits with the help of Roundup lawyers like those at Stephens & Stephens.

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer that develops from the lymphatic system (responsible for defense against infections). This cancer causes abnormal growth of white blood cells, also lymphocytes, developing tumors anywhere in the body. The change occurs from mutation of the white blood cell DNA affecting its functions such as when to reproduce and grow.

There are different types of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the most common being large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. Other types of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia
  • Common symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are:
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and groin
  • Fever
  • Chest pain, coughing, or trouble breathing
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss

Glyphosate studies on mice have shown that the compound is carcinogenic, causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Mechanistic studies in vivo and in vitro have established that glyphosate is genotoxic and cytotoxic to human lymphocytes, even at lower doses. It also causes inflammation and interferes with the functioning of lymphocytes and their fight against microorganisms. The compound also increases oxidative stress, impairs cerebral functions, and disrupts the estrogen pathway. Studies on fish have shown that glyphosate alters phagocytic function, complement cascade, and lymphocyte responses and increases the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. 

The treatment for NHL involves chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In some cases, when discovered early, the growth can be removed surgically during biopsy without needing further treatment. 

What is the survival rate of NHL patients? The survival rate for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the U.S. is five years after diagnosis. The survival rate depends on the type of cancer and how far it has spread.

What is Roundup glyphosate?

Roundup weedkiller contains glyphosate as the main ingredient. Glyphosate is an organic aid N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine comprising phosphonomethyl and glycine. Glyphosate is an amphoteric chemical, which may react as an acid or a base, depending on the conditions. The compound is registered as a pesticide by the EPA(1993) and is widely used for weed and grass control in agricultural and non-agricultural settings.

According to a study in February 2016, glyphosate is the most used weed killer in the United States. As a result, the effects of this product are widely experienced in the country. It is estimated that 1.8M tons of glyphosate were used from its inception in 1974 to 2014, and 9.5 million tons globally. 

Various healthcare professionals and scientists have expressed concern about the wide use of glyphosate and its health implications. Health studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that 80% of urine samples from U.S. children and adults contain glyphosate. The study involved a representative population of 2,310, and 1,885 showed detectable compound levels. Other studies also show that the introduction of Roundup-ready GMO crops in 1996 led to a 500% increase in the levels of glyphosate.

In 2019, The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Reproductive and Environmental Health Committee recommended a full global phase-out of glyphosate products. Also, in 2017, an essay published in the  Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health recommended a reassessment of the use of glyphosate as a weed killer. In 2016, an environmental health statement expressed concern over using glyphosate herbicides.

Glyphosate is believed to cause several health problems, including 

  • Cancer
  • Endocrine disruption, fertility, and reproductive problems
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Microbiome disruption
  • Neurotoxicity 

Roundup glyphosate and cancer studies

The most recent glyphosate study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation links the chemical to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease among other neurologic disorders. The researchers discovered that, like other chemicals known to cause neurological disorders, glyphosate passes through the blood-brain barrier affecting the brain.

Scientific studies on glyphosate-based herbicides’ health implications have given mixed results. In March 2023, Leukemia and Lymphoma Journal reported a study of three case-control studies indicating statistically significant increased risk and confirming the close connection between glyphosate exposure and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) and a sub-type hairy cell leukemia.

After reviewing several peer-reviewed and published scientific studies, in 2015, the WHO-IARC classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” This came after the researchers identified a relationship between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC) reviewed glyphosate giving contradictory results to that of IARC. The committee concluded that the compound was not carcinogenic to humans at healthy doses. In December of the same year, EPA had the report reviewed by a Scientific Advisory Panel, where members’ opinion was divided. 

It was determined that the EPA Office of Pesticides Programs made some errors in their evaluation protocols of glyphosate and that the compound was “likely” carcinogenic. All the same, in December 2017, the EPA gave a report suggesting that glyphosate was “not likely carcinogenic” and reaffirmed the same in April 2019. The EPA confirmed this position again in January 2020 in their Interim Registration Review Decision. 

Also, in April 2019, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) reported an association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or multiple myeloma. According to their findings, numerous studies indicated a risk ratio greater than one.

The EPA’s position on the safety of glyphosate was rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in June 2022, forcing the organization to withdraw its position and start another review of the compound.

The European Chemicals Agency and the European Union Food and Safety Authority have reported glyphosate as not likely carcinogenic to humans. However, these regulators’ reports were strongly contested by environmental and consumer groups in March 2017, who believed that manufacturers manipulated the research. 

In 2019, it was discovered that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment reports on glyphosate, which indicated the compound was safe, were manipulated by Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup. These manipulation claims were reaffirmed in February 2020 when it was discovered that 24 studies supporting the safety of glyphosate were fraudulent. 

A U.S. government-backed prospective cohort study of farm families in Iowa and North Carolina found no connections between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, they reported that “among applicators in the highest exposure quartile, there was an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) compared with never users.” 

Monsanto’s Manipulation of Research

Monsanto has been accused of manipulating glyphosate-cancer research and studies on several occasions to keep the product in the market. For instance, in 2016, a WHO/FAO joint meeting on pesticide residue that determined glyphosate as non-carcinogenic had a conflict of interest. It was later discovered that the chair and co-chair worked with a Monsanto-funded organization. 

Over the years, the company also strongly fought attempts to classify glyphosate among chemicals known to cause cancer. In November 2021, the University of Vienna researchers confirmed that there were only two reliable reports out of the 11 reports Monsanto had submitted to the European Chemicals Agency and the European Union Food and Safety Authority.

Glyphosate in consumed foods

Another arising question in researchers’ minds is how much glyphosate pesticide is in foods consumed in the United States. Until recently, the FDA had not been testing foods for glyphosate. FDA chemists have discovered alarming levels of glyphosate in honey produced in the United States, believed to be ten times those allowed in the E.U. Unfortunately, there is no legal limit on how much glyphosate is permitted in foods, making it challenging to regulate. Other glyphosate positive products include corn with 63.1% glyphosate, soya beans with 67%, oatmeal, and baby foods. Milk and egg samples were not found to contain glyphosate. The FDA’s internal emails proved that all the close food samples tested contained glyphosate.

Roundup glyphosate phased out in 2023

To avoid further lawsuits, the Roundup manufacturer announced it would remove the herbicide from the market by 2023. Even when phasing out the product, the manufacturer still debated its carcinogenic qualities, terming it as safe to use following the recommended procedures. He still argues that there have been many pieces of research on the compound, all of which have proven the safety of glyphosate and glyphosate herbicides.

Contact the Roundup Mass Tort Lawyers From Stephens & Stephens, LLC

An attorney from Stephens & Stephens, LLC can help. Our Roundup lawsuit attorneys can be reached when you call 1-800-548-4494 or fill out the contact form on our website.