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Monsanto and Bayer AG on the Back Foot Over Roundup Trials

Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 at 3:24 am    

Monsanto is on the defensive after a second trial favored plaintiffs alleging their cancer was caused by long exposure to the weedkiller, Roundup. Monsanto is the manufacturer of the world’s most effective and popular weedkiller, although the company is now owned by giant German agrochemical corporation, Bayer.

The court case in California awarded a 2 billion payout to a couple who had been using the weedkiller for many years. They had alleged that they had both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of their prolonged exposure to the chemical. The jury, in making its ruling, agreed that the company had failed in its duty to warn users of Roundup that it could cause cancer. Bayer, who would be liable for paying the couple, not surprisingly claimed that the decision was “excessive and unjustifiable.” Bayer is expected to appeal the decision.

The Pilliod case against Monsanto

Alva and Alberta Pilliod have been using Roundup since 1982 when they bought their first house. They used the weedkiller to keep weeds controlled around their house as well as other properties they bought subsequently. They said that they had used Roundup because they had watched adverts about it on the T.V. They said that if they had known that it was carcinogenic, even potentially carcinogenic, they wouldn’t have used it all.

The Pilliod case is the third to be won against Monsanto. The first, also in California, was won by a Los Angeles man, Dewayne Johnson, who also developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after prolonged exposure to the weedkiller in his job as a school groundsman. Johnson, near death when the court ruled in his favor, eventually got paid $78.5 million.

The second court win against Monsanto was heard in the federal court. Edward Hardeman was awarded $80 million after he alleged that the weedkiller he had been using to control weeds in his garden for many years had caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The main evidence used in these three decisions was a World Health Organization (WHO) report that was issued in 2015 by its International Agency for Research on Cancer. In the report, the WHO reported that in their opinion the active chemical in Roundup, glyphosate, “probably” caused cancer. This link has been the primary evidence not just in these three court cases, but will be the main evidence for thousands of other lawsuits that are now pending against Monsanto. In fact, in the Hardeman case, the 6 man federal jury came to the conclusion that it was not just glyphosate, but the synergistic combination of glyphosate and other ingredients in Roundup that contributed to the development of cancer.

The EPA maintains that Roundup is safe, but not everyone is convinced

The WHO report has been disputed by Monsanto and its parent, Bayer. They point to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whose conclusion about Roundup is that it is not dangerous as long as “precautions clearly advertised on the product” are observed. As recently as April this year, the EPA made a statement saying that glyphosate “posed no risk to human health.”

The involvement of the EPA and its association with Monsanto over the years has been brought into question by attorneys and scientists at the Center for Biological Diversity. There have been allegations that Monsanto actually attempted to influence the EPA by “ghostwriting” non-existent research into the hazards of glyphosate, which concluded that the chemical was not carcinogenic. The EPA’s Office of Inspector General, is apparently going to look into the allegations.

Have you been using Roundup on a regular basis in or around McAllen? If you have and you have symptoms that suggest the onset of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you should contact a product liability attorney at the Patino Law Firm as soon as possible to discuss your legal options, including filing a lawsuit against Monsanto. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.