Thousands of people in Georgia use the weed killer Roundup in their yards. However, a big cancer lawsuit verdict last year made many people twice about the product. The Roundup verdict left the product’s manufacturer Monsanto facing more than 8,000 actions.
A report in Insurance Journal noted the number of U.S. lawsuits brought against Monsanto, a company acquired last year by Germany’s Bayer, has jumped to about 8,000.
Bayer previously disclosed 5,200 such lawsuits were filed against Monsanto, which it acquired in a $63 billion deal completed in June 2018.
The company disclosed the figures after it was ordered to pay $289 million in damages to former school groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson.in California for not warning him about the potential cancer risks of using the spray.
Johnson claimed he became terminally sick with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup for over two years for a school district outside San Francisco. The case was expedited because Johnson was not expected to live long.
The jury in California concluded Roundup posed a “substantial danger” to Johnson. The jurors believed Monsanto knew or should have known about the potential risks the product posed.
The Roundup verdict is important to thousands of other people who claimed this popular weed killer has permanently damaged their health.
Although the case was greeted as a major victory for litigants in the case, a judge later decided the punitive damages the jury awarded to punish Monsanto were too high. The judge told Johnson he could either accept $39 million in punitive damages ($78 million in total), or submit to a new trial on the punitive damages aspect.
The case against Roundup centers on the active ingredient glyphosate. This was classified as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
The IARC forms part of the World Health Organization. Johnson’s lawsuit leaned heavily on the study as well as evidence that Monsanto knew of the dangers of glyphosate but failed to act.
Roundup Verdict Raises Hopes in New Cases
More people who claim Roundup caused their cancers are slated for hearings in lawsuits against Monsanto this year.
Monsanto asked California Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith in Oakland to split a March trial by a California couple into two phases, Reuters reported.
The move is intended to limit evidence the plaintiffs in the litigation view as crucial to their cases.
If the move is successful, attorneys for Alva and Alberta Pilliod would be barred from introducing evidence that the company tried to influence regulators and manipulate public opinion.
The Pilliods’ case is due to go to trial on March 18. The couple in their 70s claim their regular use of Roundup from 1975 to 2011 caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system.
Many products we use in the house and the yard may be hazardous to our health. However, big companies like Monsanto and Bayer habitually put profits before safety. Products such as talcum powder and birth control pills have been linked to cancer and other diseases. If you or a family member has been harmed by a product call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529