When a World Health Organization (WHO) report concluded in 2015 that the active ingredient in Monsanto Roundup weed killer products is a "probable" carcinogen, gardeners and groundskeepers around the world naturally became concerned about possible health impacts from prolonged exposure.
Could the active ingredient, glyphosate, cause someone to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma years or decades later? Some juries have said so, but many government regulators have found that no health risk exists. Cancer is a tricky illness from a causation viewpoint.
Developed by Monsanto decades ago, glyphosate is said to be the world's most popular herbicide. Read on to learn more about Roundup cancer lawsuits and how they could impact you or your loved ones.
Roundup Cancer Risk: Ongoing Scientific Debate
Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, strenuously denies that Roundup is hazardous to human beings, pointing out that glyphosate is considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The federal agency has said that the weed killer isn't harmful to humans when used according to the product directions. European Union regulators have reached a similar conclusion.
These government safety regulators are at odds with the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer, which declared in 2015 that glyphosate is "probably" carcinogenic.
Scientific disagreement over whether Roundup or its active ingredient glyphosate is a carcinogen can be expected to continue for some time.
Flood of Monsanto Roundup Lawsuits
In the meantime, some consumers who believe they've been harmed from long-term exposure to the weed killer have turned to the legal system. Thousands of individuals have filed lawsuits alleging that Roundup caused them to develop cancer.
As often happens in largescale toxic tort cases, the federal courts have transferred most of their Roundup cases from diverse locations around the country to be handled jointly in a single venue, in this instance by U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California, who's overseeing the Roundup Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation.
In early 2019 Judge Chhabria conducted a "bellwether trial" for the purpose of testing whether jurors would be persuaded that Roundup causes cancer. A chosen test case involved an elderly man with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had used the product on his California property for years. A jury ultimately determined that the weed killer was a substantial causal factor in his cancer and awarded him $80 million upon finding corporate negligence.
However, the story didn't end there because the company has appealed the federal court's verdict and will likely continue battling to vindicate its herbicide's good name, knowing that the EPA and other government safety regulators have found glyphosate to be safe.
The company is also busy defending numerous lawsuits in state courts. Some of those cases, too, are slowly winding their way through the appeals process. If past product liability claims against other manufacturers are any guide, especially those involving disputed medical causation, the Monsanto Roundup lawsuits may take a number of years to be resolved.
Think You've Been Injured by Monsanto Roundup? Talk to a Lawyer
If you suffer from non-Hodgkin lymphoma or other related medical conditions and think it may have been caused, even in part, by exposure to Roundup, you may have a claim to pursue. Don't delay, because sitting on your legal rights may be harmful to your case. Contact an experienced product liability lawyer near you today to discuss your legal options.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.