Andrew Sullo is a 2019 AVVO Client's Choice Award Recipient.
Of the thousands of Roundup cancer patients now suing Monsanto, only three cases have gone to trial. Of those three cases, the plaintiffs have received very large settlements, with a California jury awarding a couple $2.055 billion in damages in the last Monsanto Roundup lawsuit just over a month ago. Not only is this the largest award of any personal injury case this year, it is also the eighth largest personal injury award in United States history.
The verdict included $55 million in compensatory damages for Alva and Alberta Pilliod, plus $2 billion in punitive damages. The couple, who are now in their 70’s, began using Roundup in the 70s. Alva now has Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in his bones and spinal column, while Alberta suffers from Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma brain cancer. Monsanto, and its parent company Bayer have said they will appeal the verdict—Bayer has long claimed that glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the herbicide Roundup does not cause cancer.
First Monsanto Trial Verdict - The first cancer patient to take Monsanto to trial over Roundup cancer was Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper. Johnson was awarded $289 million, although a judge later reduced that amount to $78 million. Unfortunately, Johnson’s case is also under appeal, so it is unlikely he will see any of the money. In the first two cases against Monsanto and Bayer, the evidence allowed to be presented by the plaintiffs was severely limited by the judge. In the Pilliod case, jurors were allowed to see “a mountain of evidence showing Monsanto’s manipulation of science, the media, and regulatory agencies to forward their own agenda.”
This evidence included text messages and emails between the EPA and Monsanto in which Monsanto raised concerns regarding its relationship with the EPA. As an example, in one internal company email, a Monsanto executive wrote that an EPA official offered to help stop another agency’s review of glyphosate, saying, “If I can kill this, I should get a medal.” Johnson’s case was fast-tracked for trial due to the severity of his illness, as his doctors stated he was unlikely to live past 2020. Johnson’s lawyers claimed Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate—and specifically Roundup—could cause cancer.
Is Roundup Critical to the Success of Global Farming? According to Bayer, Roundup is crucial to the success of global farming. The reasoning by Bayer is that without glyphosate, farmers would have to rely on plowing as a form of weed control. Plowing requires heavy farm machinery, which increases fuel consumption, releasing more greenhouse gases. Therefore, Bayer claims that Roundup helps minimize carbon emissions. Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, is solidly behind the use of glyphosate, claiming “If we are going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, we are going to need all the tools at our disposal.”
The Second Roundup Trial - Those who have Roundup cancer may feel differently about Roundup. The second Roundup trial resulted in an award for Edwin Hardeman after a federal jury determined Roundup was at least partially responsible for Hardeman’s cancer because Monsanto failed to properly label Roundup with a warning label regarding cancer risk. Hardeman was not a farmer, rather used Roundup to control weeds and poison oak on his property for more than two decades. In 2015, Hardeman was diagnosed with Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After the World Health Organization International Agency for Research and Cancer declared glyphosate a “probable carcinogen,” Hardeman filed his Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto. Hardeman was awarded $75 million in punitive damages, about $5 million for past and future suffering, and $200,000 for medical expenses. The jurors in Hardeman’s trial believed Monsanto ignored scientific studies showing Roundup’s harmful health effects. Monsanto has appealed Hardeman’s verdict.
Monsanto Roundup Lawsuits - The Monsanto Roundup lawsuits claim the weed killer causes a number of different cancers such as Roundup Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as b-cell lymphoma, leukemia, and others. Monsanto developed glyphosate in 1970 to kill weeds and grasses that can harm crops; by 2007, Roundup weed killer had become the most used herbicide across the globe, with an estimated 1.4 billion pounds of Roundup used in more than 160 countries each year.
Despite its popularity, Roundup weed killer has been called into question as a possible health hazard. Interestingly, the EPA stated in 1995 that glyphosate should be labeled as a probable human carcinogen, then later changed its mind, arguing that the herbicide is not carcinogenic and actually has “low toxicity for humans.” Given these disparities—as well as studies with conflicting opinions—it remains relatively unclear to what degree glyphosate could affect human health and the risk for Roundup cancer.
Did Monsanto and Bayer Attempt to Stop an Investigation into Roundup? Monsanto and Bayer continue to refute claims that the company has been aware of the potential hazards of glyphosate yet failed to warn consumers of those dangers. Roundup cancer lawyers believe Monsanto and Bayer worked with a former EPA employee to refute claims that glyphosate posed a risk to human health, even attempting to stop an investigation into the herbicide. It is alleged that Monsanto received notice of the evaluation done by the EPA on Roundup months before it was released to the public—allowing the company to prepare for a public relations attack against any study which supported a cancer link.
How a Sullo & Sullo Roundup Lawyer Can Help - Those who have used Roundup weed killer and ended up with Monsanto Roundup cancer as a result, could be eligible to file a Roundup weed killer lawsuit. A Sullo & Sullo Roundup lawyer can help with a Monsanto cancer lawsuit, answering questions, and ensuring all time deadlines are properly met. Glyphosate cancer, such as Roundup Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can result in very high medical expenses, perhaps an inability to work and make a living, and many other adverse consequences which affect day-to-day living as well as the future. If you have been injured as a result using Roundup weed killer, it is important to speak to an experienced Sullo & Sullo Roundup lawyer who can help you navigate a Monsanto Roundup lawsuit in the best way possible.