The first successful verdict against mega-corporation Monsanto was in August 2018. Dwayne Johnson said his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis was a direct result of using the company’s glyphosate-based and popular weed killer, Roundup. Jurors agreed and awarded Mr. Johnson $289 million dollars. To date there have been three successful suits against Monsanto, and thousands of people suspect their cancers are linked to using Roundup.
Although the company continues to allege that its dangerous and cancer-causing herbicide is safe, there are currently more than 13,400 cases pending in courts across the U.S. – and juries are siding with Monsanto’s victims. Most recently, an elderly California couple was awarded $2 billion in punitive and compensatory damages, which is the largest verdict against the company to date.
Monsanto developed Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, in the 1970s. Glyphosate is an extremely effective weed killing chemical – but it was also classified a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015 by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). A carcinogen is a substance that can cause cancer. Despite IARC’s data – in addition to independent research confirming the link between occupational exposure to the herbicide and cancers like non-Hodgkin’s – Monsanto says Roundup is safe to use.
Of the thousands of cases pending against Monsanto, numerous plaintiffs claim the company intentionally misled the public. Victims say the company went as far as to manipulate data and undermine health and safety reviews to avoid glyphosate being classified a carcinogen. Two months before the most recent verdict, a terminally ill California man was awarded $78 million in punitive and compensatory damages against Monsanto. Another trial – this time one in Missouri – is scheduled to begin in August.
Bayer AG bought Monsanto in 2016 for $63 billion, and quickly picked up right where it left off when it came to blindly defending the deadly weed killer. Vince Chhabra, a federal trial judge, is overseeing hundreds of Roundup cases. He said that plaintiff’s evidence indicates the company “does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns.”
After the last (and largest) verdict, Bayer’s market value dropped lower than it has in six years. Even coming off of its three trial losing stint, the company is still saying Roundup does not cause cancer – but jurors are sending a strong message right back to them.
Most of Monsanto and Bayer’s victims are unsuspecting farmers or agricultural workers. Lots of these workers regularly used Roundup so they could maintain their livelihood: their fields and crops. These hardworking men and women had no idea that using the herbicide could cause cancer, and some of them are now facing terminal diagnoses.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that originates in the lymphatic system, or the lymph nodes clustered throughout the body. With this kind of cancer, tumors develop from white blood cells (lymphocytes). Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can cause general symptoms that are especially easy to miss or overlook. Some examples of these are fever, unexplained weight loss, sweating and chills (particularly at nighttime), easy bruising or bleeding, severe or frequent infections, and feeling very fatigued.
Some specific symptoms commonly associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or any other persistent or concerning health issues we recommend making an appointment with a doctor.
No one should get cancer from using Roundup; it should be safely regulated to avoid preventable illnesses and deaths. If you or a loved one became ill from using Roundup and you have questions about damages, please contact our firm directly.
If you were injured or became ill because of an unsafe or defective product, please contact the Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.