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Understanding the Roundup Mass Tort

Wagner Reese

Scientists have been researching the major health risks linked to glyphosate since 1985. For over 30 years, Monsanto, the creator of Roundup, a popular and controversial herbicide, has been falsifying reports to hide the connection between their glyphosate-based products and cancer. While the percentage of glyphosate in Roundup products varies between 2-50%, scientific evidence suggests that even a single exposure event can increase a person’s chances of being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In fact, even the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer staunchly defends its claim that glyphosate “is probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Consequently, countless lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto, culminating in a mass tort against the company. Many lawsuits have been filed on behalf of agricultural workers, landscapers, garden center workers, and even school employees. Their legal teams allege that Monsanto has been aware of the cancer risks since the early 1970s and has been intentionally hiding the truth from the public ever since.

DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Co.

DeWayne “Lee” Johnson used Roundup for years during his tenure as a school groundskeeper. He filed a claim against Monsanto after he was tragically diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. In court, his legal team successfully argued that glyphosate creates a carcinogenic compound when mixed with the product’s other standard components. On August 10, 2018, the jury unanimously agreed that Monsanto demonstrated great negligence in failing to warn the public about the health risks associated with their products. San Francisco superior court judge Suzanne Bolanos initially awarded Johnson $289 million, but has recently reduced that amount to $78 million to comply with a law regarding punitive damages.

The Failed Appeal

In 2017, CNN released an article that galvanized over 9,000 cancer victims, widows, and estate representatives to file claims against the negligent company. Despite facing intense public scrutiny, Monsanto is standing by the safety of their product. In fact, the company is still refusing to add warning labels to their products in protest of the Johnson verdict.

Monsanto, which was purchased by Bayer, a German pharmaceutical company, quickly filed an appeal against the verdict, claiming that the evidence in the Johnson case was insufficient. Judge Bolanos denied Monsanto’s request, effectively keeping the door open to thousands of other claims against the company.

Federal Trials in 2019

The first bellwether trial is going to be held in San Francisco’s Northern District early this year. This mass-district litigation will impact hundreds of plaintiffs who have filed claims against the company. Fortunately, the court – much to Bayer’s disappointment – is allowing the plaintiffs to utilize the same evidence previously presented in the DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Co. case.

Seek Justice & Restitution Today

Establishing liability is the greatest challenge in a product liability case. The DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Co. case was successful because the plaintiff’s legal team proved that Monsanto failed to warn the public about the link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an illness after exposure to a dangerous Monsanto product, contact the Indiana product liability lawyers at Wagner Reese. Our trial-tested legal team has been litigating against negligent manufacturers and corporations for decades. We represent claims based on design designs, manufacturing defects, and, of course, a failure to warn.

Contact Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation.

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