Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit Update


In this post, our Roundup lawyers will give you:

  1. an update on where things stand in the Roundup class action lawsuit in December 2023 (including updates from the last four trials, including the new $1.5 billion verdict on November 20, 2023, and the latest $2.25 billion verdict in Philadelphia on January 26, 2024). 
  2. the likely direction the Roundup litigation will likely take moving forward, and
  3. the expected future settlement amounts in the Bayer Roundup lawsuit (Phase 2)

40,000 Roundup Cases Left… and Counting

As of January 2024, Monsanto has reached settlement agreements in nearly 100,000 Roundup lawsuits. Monsanto paid approximately $11 billion. Bayer has accomplished this by negotiating block settlement arrangements with plaintiffs’ lawyers who have significant cases in the litigation… and by settling with plaintiffs before trial.

Although these settlements account for nearly 80% of all pending Roundup claims, over 40,000 active Roundup lawsuits – maybe 50,000 – remain. Most lawsuits have been filed in state court. But over 4,000 claims in the MDL Roundup class action lawsuit are still pending in California.

New Roundup lawsuits continue to be filed regularly. Our attorneys receive calls and online contact forms from Roundup victims with NHL almost daily. You can reach us at 800-553-8082.

February 21, 2023

Bayer is slashing its dividend by a stunning 95% in response to the drain and risks to the company associated with this litigation.

February 17, 2024

Everyone smells blood in the water with Roundup and it is drawing lawyers who do not have personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.

The MDL judge in California signaled his inclination to either dismiss a proposed nationwide class action lawsuit regarding Roundup exposure or transfer it to a multidistrict litigation in California’s Central District. Judge Vince Chhabria, expressed concerns during a San Francisco hearing about the suit being filed in an inappropriate venue, given that the defendants, Monsanto and its parent company Bayer AG, have their principal places of business outside Northern California, and the plaintiffs lack a direct connection to the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit, initiated in September by five Californian plaintiffs, seeks to represent individuals nationwide who have been exposed to Roundup more than twice yearly, raising issues about the suitability of the Northern California venue and the representativeness and manageability of such a broad class action given the diversity of state laws.

These types of claims are important, but that does not mean I like them.  I would rather everyone focus on the Roundup wrongful death and personal injury claims because that matters a whole lot more than trying to get back 11 bucks to someone who bought Roundup and does not have NHL.

February 15, 2024

We used to have a long wait in between Roundup trials.  No longer.   A series of NHL Round lawsuits are gearing up for trial in Arkansas, California, and Pennsylvania. Two of these trials started today. We also have the Cloud trial is progress in Delaware. (See our February 5th update below.)

Today, in Conway County Circuit Court in Morrilton, Arkansas, a wrongful death Roundup Lawsuit begins.  In Cody v Monsanto, the plaintiff alleges his wife’s death from NHL was from Roundup exposure. This is the first Roundup pesticide trial in Arkansas.

In California, Sonoma County Superior Court is preparing for the 7th Roundup trial in California in Myers v. Monsanto.

Finally, we get another Philadelphia trial where plaintiffs are 3-0.  In Kline v. Monsanto, a retired U.S. Postal Service worker alleges that his aggressive cancer is linked to his use of a self-mixed Roundup variant. This trial starts today in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

This is a lot of pressure on Monsanto. I may be an optimist but I predict you will see a lot of Roundup settlements in the first half of 2024.  Because Monsanto cannot continue to bear this trial schedule and the likely verdicts we will see in most of these lawsuits.

February 12, 2024

The left-for-dead Roundup litigation is back and getting tons of attention in 2024.  This brings out the vultures.

We learned today that someone is calling potential victims in California, saying they are from our law firm, and telling them they are entitled to $40,000 in compensation.

If you get a call like this, it is a scam. (And if you have a viable case, it is likely worth a heck of a lot more than $40,000.)

February 7, 2024

Monsanto is challenging the $2.25 billion verdict claiming a series of mistakes by a Philadelphia judge, Susan Schulman, unfairly influenced the trial’s outcome.

In typical Monsanto fashion, the motion called the court’s rulings “inexplicable.”  It is hard to understand who the target audience is – other than themselves – with this kind of rhetoric.

February 6, 2024

Yesterday, we were talking about New Jersey.  Today, let’s talk about Delaware.

Opening statements were heard in Cloud v. Monsanto in Delaware Superior Court in a lawsuit involving a South Carolina groundskeeper whose family’s wrongful death lawsuit alleges that Monsanto’s Roundup was the cause of his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

For two reasons, it is hard not to have high hopes for this case.  First, plaintiffs are on roll, and juries have awarded victims over $4 billion in the last few months.

Second, the decedent was a groundskeeper.  These are among the best cases because of the undeniable volume of exposure to the product. We do not have an exact answer to how much exposure to Roundup is dangerous, and that is an issue in some trials.  That will not be a debate in this case.

February 5, 2024

In our February 1st update, we talked about Bayer’s ‘bet the company” strategy on a favorable appellate court ruling.  That strategy took a punch to the face today.

The 11th Circuit ruled that a state failure-to-warn claim filed by a Roundup user, who alleges his cancer was caused by Monsanto Co.’s weedkiller, is not barred by federal law regulating pesticide labels. The court found that Georgia’s state-law duty to warn of foreseeable dangers, which manufacturers should reasonably know about, aligns with federal law and does not demand more from pesticide manufacturers than the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

This is a significant ruling.  Bayer put a lot of eggs in the basket of this case.  In one of the goofiest moves in recent appellate history, it settled with the plaintiff and then paid him to make this appeal to make favorable law.

I sound like a broken record. But if you are a Bayer executive reading this, you have to consider the possibility that your lawyers have steered you in the wrong direction in this litigation.  It happens. You are not the first corporate executives to get burned listening to your attorneys, and you will not be the last.  But you must do what is hard now to save this company from ruins.  This means finding the cash to get these cases settled once and for all and doing it quickly.

February 4, 2024

New Jersey might become a new hotbed jurisdiction for Roundup cancer lawsuits.  The state’s Administrative Office of the Courts announced plans to gather public opinions on a proposal to coordinate a group of Roundup trials in Atlantic County Superior Court.

The request for this coordination aims to bring together 10 Roundup cases filed since late December. But if there is consolidation, and we have seen this movie before in other mass torts, you can expect hundreds of cases to follow.

What is attractive about New Jersey?  Bayer’s U.S. headquarters is in New Jersey, which should keep lawsuits filed in New Jersey in state court.

February 2, 2024

It is easy to forget the Roundup MDL with so many trials in state court.  But 26 new Monsanto lawsuits were filed in the MDL last month. 

In one new lawsuit filed yesterday in the MDL, the plaintiff, a resident of Sarasota, Florida, brings a wrongful death lawsuit as the representative of the estate of a deceased relative, also from Sarasota County, Florida. The plaintiff claims the decedent used Roundup regularly since approximately 1980, adhering to all safety and precautionary warnings provided during its use.

Despite these precautions, the man was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-cell lymphoma.  It is alleged that the plaintiff’s condition was directly and proximately caused by exposure to Roundup products manufactured by the defendant. Tragically, the plaintiff passed away on March 24, 2021, due to complications from the lymphoma, prompting this lawsuit against Monsanto.

February 1, 2024

Reuters has a quote that I think is really on point:

“‘What all of Bayer’s strategies have in common is that they will take years, and none is guaranteed to succeed. It could be a year or more before the Supreme Court hears any case, and if Bayer hopes to win at the state level, it would need to do so separately in each state’s highest court after making its way through mid-level appellate courts.’
‘It’s almost naturally a bet-the-company posture,’ said David Noll, a Rutgers Law School professor who studies mass torts. ‘The litigation is in this strange holding pattern where Bayer is confident that it will eventually win on the science and knock out the entire litigation, but in the meantime, it’s getting clobbered with verdicts.'”
Well said. Bayer appears willing to bet the company on appellate court rulings after seven years of litigation in which they have either lost on appeal or, as with the Supreme Court, ignored.

January 30, 2023 – $6.7 Billion in Roundup Verdicts

This is the updated scorecard of Roundup verdicts:

2024 McKivision Pennsylvania $2.25B
2023 Jones California Defense Verdict
2023 Martel Pennsylvania $3.46M
2023 Anderson and Two Others Missouri $1.56B
2023 Dennis California $332M
2023 Caranci Pennsylvania $175M
2023 Durnell Missouri $1.25M
2023 McCostlin Missouri Defense Verdict
2023 Gordon Missouri Defense Verdict
2022 Ferro Missouri Defense Verdict
2022 Alesi Missouri Defense Verdict
2022 Johnson Oregon Defense Verdict
2022 Shelton Missouri Defense Verdict
2021 Stephens California Defense Verdict
2021 Clark California Defense Verdict
2019 Hardeman MDL-CA $80.2M
2019 Pilliod California $2.05B
2018 Johnson California $289.2M

The average payout for the last six Roundup lawsuits that went to trial, including a zero for the defense verdict,  is a stunning $617,387,142.86.

January 26, 2024 – McKivision Verdict

The verdict is back in McKivision: $2.25 billion. The jury awarded $250 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages.

This was an educated jury.  Half of the 12 jurors were college-educated, and two had master’s degrees.  Plaintiffs’ arguments are working in front of men, women, educated, uneducated, you name it.  Whoever did the focus groups for Bayer and told their lawyers to shoot for an educated jury should be fired.

Bayer should change the warning on Roundup today and do what it did last time – start settling cases with lawyers with the largest number of cases. I keep saying this verdict, and that verdict is a game changer, and we go back to business as usual.  But this may be the verdict that turns the tide.

 January 24, 2024 –  Monsanto Struggles with Witness

After a series of losses, Monsanto tried out a new toxicologist, David Saltmiras, in the McKivision trial yesterday.  Losing five trials in a row makes you want to try a new path.

It did not go well for Monsanto. Its lawyers tried – pushing the envelope like it pathologically does – to convert a fact witness into an expert witness, fusing opinions into his testimony.  This did not please the plaintiff’s attorneys or Judge Susan I. Schulman, who moved to shut such testimony down.

January 23, 2024 – Nouryon Gets Out

The trial judge in McKivision v. Monsanto granted Nouryon Chemicals motion to dismiss at the close of the plaintiff’s case yesterday. Monsanto is now the sole defendant in the case.

Nouryon Chemicals is the Pennsylvania defendant that allows Monsanto to be sued in Pennsylvania.

We are now in Monsanto’s case.  Most likely, we get a verdict late next week.

January 15, 2024 – New MDL Roundup NHL Lawsuits

Only three new cases were added to the Roundup class action MDL in federal court over the last month. There are currently 4,177 total cases pending in this MDL. Most of them have been sitting in the MDL for a long time as the focus of the Roundup lawsuits has shifted to state courts.

January 11, 2024 – Monsanto’s “Cynical Diversion”

One leitmotif in these comments is my complaint that Monsanto, for lack of a better phrase, is such a baby when it loses.

Judge James Crumlish III of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas seems to agree.  He sternly opposed Monsanto’s attempt to remove him from the case after a $175 million verdict as a transparent and manipulative tactic. He said the company’s goal is not to contest the trial’s evidence but to undermine the jury and the trial judge. He described Monsanto’s efforts as a delay tactic and a cynical diversion.

Again, this is not a one-off.  Monsanto has previously attempted to disqualify judges in other cases, alleging bias against their defense. These efforts include a failed attempt to disqualify a California judge and accusations of favoritism against another Philadelphia judge after a $3.5 million verdict. Monsanto is the litigation version of politics in 2024.  If you disagree with me, it must be because you are acting in bad faith.

Why does any of this really matter?  Who cares if a defendant is being a baby?  A rational defendant in Monsanto’s shoes right now would be doing everything it could to settle these lawsuits. But stuff like this makes you wonder if the company is rational about this litigation.  I say the company… but maybe it is their outside lawyers. I’m not sure who is driving this train. But the adults in the room need to step up.

January 9, 2024 – McKivision Gets Started

A new trial in Philadelphia, McKivision v. Monsanto, is underway.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers will advance the themes that have been working: Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Monsanto hid studies that show the association to sell more product.

According to McKivison’s lawsuit, he initiated his use of Roundup in 2006, employing it multiple times annually for several consecutive years. His approximation suggests that he utilized Roundup on at least 30 occasions before the cancer manifested.

The plaintiffs are 2-0 in Philadelphia.  You never know what will happen in a jury trial. But the odds seem very strong that plaintiffs make it 3-0.

I’ve been saying Bayer needs to settle this case. It does. It needs breathing room to figure out how to fashion a global settlement or at least one that meaningfully reduces the number of Roundup lawsuits it faces.

January 7, 2024 – New Roundup Class Action Lawsuit

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Canada has certified a nationwide class-action lawsuit directed against Monsanto and Bayer, the manufacturers of the herbicide Roundup. This legal action allows individuals across Canada to pursue claims related to the product collectively.

January 2, 2024 – Monsanto Gets a Win

Plaintiffs five trial streak was snapped on Friday when a San Benito County, California jury found no liability in Jones v. Monsanto.  The jury ruled in favor of Monsanto, dismissing allegations of negligence, design defect, strict liability, and negligent failure to warn.

We know plaintiffs will not win every case.  We have a fresh slate of trials in January, including an extensive trial in Philadelphia where plaintiffs are two-for-two.

This is the updated scorecard of Roundup verdicts:

2023 Roundup Litigation Updates

Roundup Update December 23, 2023

One theme in the comments is my frustration at how Monsanto blames the judge whenever it loses a case.  Of course, every appeal is premised on the trial judge’s error.  But Monsanto often goes beyond simple error and argues some nefarious motive.

In the last verdict in Philadelphia, Monsanto accused Judge Genece Brinkley of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas of exhibiting favoritism towards the plaintiff during the trial. Specifically, Monsanto claimed that Judge Brinkley made prejudicial statements and asked questions during witness testimonies that seemed to align with the plaintiff’s side, effectively taking on an advocacy role.

Really? What is the point exactly?  There is a zero percent. This argument flies on appeal.

Roundup Update December 19, 2023

Bayer is not just mishandling litigation in the Roundup NHL lawsuits. Bayer was ordered on Monday to pay $857 million to ex-students and parent helpers at a school near Seattle. The reason was – big surprise, right? — their exposure to the firm’s dangerous chemicals at the facility, which they claimed led to brain injuries and various health issues.

Bayer’s stock price is feeling the consequences.

Roundup Update December 18, 2023

There are currently still 4,174 cases pending in the Roundup cancer class action MDL in federal courts. The MDL has not grown much in the last few years as the focus of these cases has shifted to state court.

Roundup Update December 13, 2023

For years, Dr. Cristian Tomasetti, a math doctor, not a medical doctor, served as Monsanto’s key expert in defending their Roundup weed killer against lawsuits alleging it caused cancer. His central claim: most non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases, the specific type of cancer in these lawsuits, are simply unfortunate accidents of biology caused by random mutations rather than environmental factors like Roundup. That is the Monsanto’s favorite argument.

As five in a row, plaintiffs’ verdicts totaling over $2 billion suggests that argument is wearing thin. Plaintiffs’  Monsanto weed killer lawyers are highlighting to juries concerns about the methodology and data underlying Dr. Tomasetti’s findings, pointing to 54 published articles that disagree with his assertion that 95% of NHL is just pulling the wrong genetic straw.

In the Roundup class action in California, Plaintiffs’ attorneys argue that Dr. Tomasetti’s “bad luck” theory improperly minimizes environmental factors in cancer development. They believed that allowing Tomasetti to continue to present this data that lacks a study scientific basis should be excluded from court proceedings.

In the federal court case, Judge Chhabria will decide whether to allow Tomasetti to testify in the next group of Roundup trials in the MDL.  We will see how it goes.  Ironically, plaintiffs may be better off letting Tomasetti testify and destroying him on cross-examination than excluding him from testifying.

Roundup Update December 12, 2023

The mess Bayer has made is starting to get more attention in the media.

Roundup Update December 6, 2023

Bayer loses. Again. Yesterday, another Philadelphia jury ordered Bayer to pay nearly $3.5 million to a woman who alleged that the company’s Roundup weedkiller caused her cancer. The verdict, reached after a three-week trial and two days of jury deliberation, comprised $462,500 in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.

This verdict represents Bayer’s fifth consecutive loss. There is another trial in Philadelphia next month. I predict that the verdict will be more than $3.5 million.

In 15 trials, juries awarded victims a few thousand dollars shy of $4.5 billion.  So, the average Roundup verdict is $300 million.  If you multiply $300 million by the estimated 40,000 remaining cases, you get $12 trillion. (This is a little misleading because of trials with multiple plaintiffs, but you get the idea.)

Bayer CEO Bill Anderson has a degree from MIT and has had great success as a CEO in his two previous pharmaceutical company stints, which is how he earned the Bayer job. He pledged to study the company before taking action. The time for action is now.  Because that train of success will come to a screeching halt if he does not find a way to settle the Roundup lawsuits.

Roundup Update November 20, 2023

In a verdict that truly redefines this litigation, a Missouri jury ordered Monsanto on Friday to pay over $1.5 billion in damages to three former users of its Roundup weedkiller, who claimed the product caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.

The state court in Jefferson City, Missouri, awarded the plaintiffs a combined $61.1 million in actual damages and $500 million each in punitive damages.

Valorie Gunther from New York, Jimmy Draeger from Missouri, and Daniel Anderson from California were the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. All three were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury determined that Monsanto was responsible for their injuries due to not providing sufficient warnings about the dangers of Roundup.

These last four verdicts will almost certainly have an outsized impact on Roundup settlement amounts. Bayer keeps waiting to settle, hoping something good will happen. This is going from bad to worse to – I’ll say it again, existential threat – for Bayer.

We will get another verdict in Philadelphia in Martel v. Nouryon Chemicals, probably early next month. Bayer should settle that case today. But it won’t.

Roundup Update November 10, 2023

Bayer is not ready to settle. That message came out of a media call after Bayer’s third-quarter financial results were released. Bayer says they will keep defending Roundup litigation cases, particularly those involving glyphosate, its active ingredient, asserting to juries that the herbicide is safe when used as instructed.

I mean, what else is it going to say?   The company cannot say, “We are getting hammered again, we will make reasonable settlement offers, I hope the plaintiffs agree. But AG’s Chief Financial Officer, Wolfgang Nickl, said something else interesting:  “We have no appetite to write humongous checks and in a time where we have little free cash flow.”

When I was in college, I would get parking tickets at school. My plan for those parking tickets was to put them in my glovebox and try to forget about them. That is what Bayer is doing here. We do not have the money, so we will not pay it. But this is precisely what I did in college. These chickens will come home to roost. The problem is only going to get bigger.

Roundup Update November 9, 2023

Monsanto is seeking to overturn a $175 million verdict from a Pennsylvania state court trial, contending that the court unjustly influenced the jury to resolve a deadlock in a case regarding its alleged failure to warn about carcinogenic risks in Roundup. Monsanto’s brief accuses the court of several errors, including coercing the jury towards a consensus without informing the parties and allowing prejudicial evidence from the plaintiffs.

The company allegedly discovered post-verdict that the jury was initially deadlocked at 9-3, and the court had instructed them to either reach a majority or face extended deliberation. Very desperate argument. Judges always do this, and they have every right to do it.

Monsanto also criticized the court’s exclusion of evidence from regulators regarding the safety of glyphosate.

Bayer also may be declaring war on the entire mass tort process in Philadelphia. It has requested Judge James C. Crumlish III’s recusal from any rulings on the motion for a new trial due to these grievances. There is no real point to this – the judge is not going to recuse – other than attack the judge and the process.

Roundup Update November 8, 2023

A farmworker has successfully reached a settlement in her discrimination case against Monsanto. Her lawsuit claimed that Monsanto unfairly refused to finalize a personal injury settlement linked to her exposure to their product, Roundup, due to her not being a U.S. citizen. Her complaint was that the refusal breached section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which outlaws discrimination in contract dealings.

Under the terms of the settlement, Monsanto has committed to eliminating any considerations of immigration status or citizenship from its future Roundup settlement agreements. This ensures that such factors will neither influence a claimant’s eligibility for settlement participation nor affect the determination of settlement amounts.

The take-home message is you have to fight Bayer at every turn to get the compensation you deserve.

Roundup Update November 7, 2023

Bayer got a win today when the Ninth Circuit ruled that California’s mandate for products containing glyphosate to carry a warning label is unconstitutional, infringing upon agricultural producers’ First Amendment rights against compelled speech.

The court found that the warning made producers convey a message they fundamentally disagree with, concerning a matter that it thinks is not settled among the scientific community.

The requirement failed the “intermediate scrutiny” standard because it was not narrowly tailored to serve an important government interest despite the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifying glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” five years ago. As for whether it serves an important government interest… if California does not have an important government interest in keeping its citizens alive, it is hard to figure out what where it does have an important governmental interest.

Judge Mary M. Schroeder dissented, believing the lower court should review the sufficiency of the new warning and arguing that scientific consensus should not be a requirement for noncontroversial information in the context of compelled commercial speech. My guess is the Supreme Court will see it the same way.

Roundup Update November 6, 2023

Philadelphia is gearing up for its second trial concerning allegations that the herbicide Roundup causes cancer, scheduled to start today.

Martel v. Nouryon Chemicals will be the first time Pennsylvania-based chemical manufacturer, Nouryon Chemicals, is a defendant at trial. Plaintiffs allege that Nouryon supplied Monsanto with chemicals that increased Roundup’s carcinogenic potential. This is also the defendant that gets these claims in state court in Pennsylvania in the first place.

We will have many Roundup litigation updates in the future. After a holiday break, the next trial is set for January 8 and we will see more trials in Missouri and California state court. Unless there is a big settlement, we are just getting started.

Roundup Update November 4, 2023

Just to put it in context, Bayer is worth $44 billion (which is much less than it paid for Monsanto). In five days, Bayer absorbed two verdicts against Monsanto totaled over $500 million. So those two cases, which make up .005% of the estimated pending Roundup claims against Monsanto, were over 1% of the total value of the entire company.

My point is Bayer can still settle these lawsuits at a number that does not decapitate the company. But we are no longer in an MDL where trial dates move slowly. The state court docket is producing more and more trials.   If Bayer does not act on settlement, things could spiral out of control pretty quickly. Bayer has to acknowledge that its playbook in this litigation is not working.

If you read these updates, I complimented many times Bayer’s strategy of letting the weakest cases go to trial, get defense verdicts, and quell the enthusiasm of plaintiffs lawyers. It worked. But it is just not a sustainable strategy. I figured the point was to leverage settle out as many cases as they could before the Philadelphia trials began.

My guess is Bayer began to believe the were winning because their lawyers found the secret sauce to win as opposed to crediting it strategy of trying cases with weak facts for plaintiffs.

Roundup Update November 2, 2023

The Legal Intelligencer correctly reports that plaintiffs’ Roundup attorneys are ramping up the pressure on Bayer to resolve numerous lawsuits or remove its Roundup pesticide from the market after three substantial verdicts amounting to over half a billion dollars were awarded against Monsanto.

Of course, the pressure of recent juries in Missouri, Pennsylvania, and California totaling over $500 million has changed the landscape. Plaintiffs’ lawyers want fair Roundup settlement offers and, at a minimum, a reasonable warning on the product.

Here is a quote from a Cornell professor:

“What’s surprising is they didn’t settle these cases. If I were Monsanto, I would settle the best cases with the best lawyers, and bring to trial the worst cases with the worst trials. I’m guessing they thought that was their strategy, too. But they made a mistake.”

But, actually, this is how Monsanto won nine in a row, doing exactly this. But Bayer did not want to overpay, and plaintiffs’ demands for settlement were just too high.

Bayer is said to be weighing bankruptcy. But I don’t think they really are. One option is the Texas Two-Step. The “Texas two-step” is a corporate maneuver that involves a divisional merger strategy often associated with liability restructuring for companies facing numerous lawsuits. They know the Texas Two-Step will not work and will just cost them millions more in legal fees from a company that is already bleeding legal fees.

Bayer could declare bankruptcy. But I do not think a single person within Bayer is really considering this as an option.

I laid out the plan a few days ago. Settle these cases. Put a warning on the product. And get back to ruling the agricultural world.

Roundup Update October 31, 2023

Update: $332 million in Dennis. The jury awarded $7 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages. Getting one huge verdict last week was great. But now three for three in just a few weeks totaling over $500 million is a complete game changer.  

Yes, Bayer won nine trials in a row. We kept telling you it was smoke and mirrors – they are letting weak cases go to trial. These last three verdicts prove this hypothesis.

Like Caranci, there was nothing unusual about Mr. Dennis’s case. He used Roundup on his lawn and garden for 35 years and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 51. These typical Roundup lawsuits are getting these incredible verdicts.

It is time to start talking about whether Roundup is an existential threat to Bayer. It would not be if Bayer just came to its senses and made reasonable settlement compensation to resolve these claims. But if this keeps spiraling – and there is a new trial next month – there is no telling where it leads.

Roundup Update October 30, 2023

Bloomberg has an article today about the mounting legal troubles Bayer has after a Philadelphia jury ordered the company to pay $25 million in actual damages and $150 million in punitive damages over claims that its weed killer, Roundup, caused 83-year-old Ernie Caranci’s cancer.

The punitive damages – and the amount of the punitive damages – really sends a message to Bayer, and there is a real possibility that the message will get sent again in this next trial in Pennsylvania that starts next week (and maybe in the San Diego case as well).

Bayer could have settled the first round of cases for less if it had avoided those first three trials. It also could have settled a good portion of the 40,000 remaining cases by settling before this Philadelphia trial, which had plaintiff’s verdict written all over it. I was virtually screaming it in the updates even after nine consecutive losses. But it wants to keep rolling the dice, and you see the consequences of that.

Bayer’s CEO, Bill Anderson, is said to re-evaluating the company’s strategies and aims to restore investor confidence. I think what would help investor confidence is making reasonable Roundup settlement offers to victims and putting this litigation behind them even if it costs a few billion more than it originally allocated to these claims.

Last week, I read the book “The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy” by Pietra Rivoli. The book offers a detailed exploration of the global trade and economics surrounding the lifecycle of a t-shirt and explains in stunning detail how Monsanto developed and commercialized genetically engineered cotton seeds, known as Bt cotton. These seeds are designed to resist certain pests, which can reduce the need for pesticides and potentially increase yield. Monsanto has played an unbelievably dominant role in the cotton seed market and other agricultural products, and this dominance allowed it to make money hand over fist, which is why it was so attractive to Bayer in the first place.

What is my point? For all its flaws with Roundup, Monsanto is doing great things. Bayer should focus on continuing to develop that business and stop wasting so much energy and focus on trying to beat down victims in the Roundup NHL lawsuits. Just offer reasonable settlement compensation to victims and get back to doing what you do.

Roundup Update October 28, 2023

If you enjoyed Friday’s $175 million verdict, keep in mind there will be another trial on November 7 in the Philadephia Common Pleas Court between now and next year. We are also waiting on a verdict in San Diego.

Bayer has another $4-$5 billion left in their reserves to settle these cases. At $4 billion, that is about $100,000 a case. That will not be enough to get these cases settled.

Update: $175 million verdict in Caranci!!!! More details to follow!

Roundup Update October 27, 2023

Closing statements ended yesterday, and a Philadelphia jury will deliberate today in Ernest Caranci’s lawsuit that claims that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller led to his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis. Most likely, we will hear from the jury today in this highly anticipated verdict.

Update: $175 million verdict in Caranci!!!!  

Roundup Update October 27, 2023

Closing statements ended yesterday, and a Philadelphia jury will deliberate today in Ernest Caranci’s lawsuit that claims that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller led to his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis. Most likely, we will hear from the jury today in this highly anticipated verdict.

Update: $175 million verdict in Caranci!!!! More details to follow!

Roundup Update October 25, 2023

It is good to see reports that Bayer made no offer in the Roundup lawsuit that resulted in a $1.25 million verdict on Friday. Bayer is letting go to trial only cases it is extremely confident it can win. So it is encouraging to see plaintiffs win a case it seems Bayer thought was a slam dunk.

Getting a win next month in Philadelphia or San Diego would be huge for the 40,000 plaintiffs who have lawsuits pending.

Roundup Update October 23, 2023

In these updates, we have been talking about a new strategy employed in the three Roundup lawsuits in trial. Plaintiffs’ Roundup lawyers are not focusing on glyphosate but instead making the easier and more obvious connection: Roundup causes cancer.

This strategy appears to be bearing fruit. A St. Louis jury awarded $1.25 million to a plaintiff who claimed Monsanto’s Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma, marking an end to Monsanto’s series of victories in Roundup trials. The jury determined that Monsanto did not adequately warn about the risks of Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate.

This is a big win and gives plaintiffs fresh momentum.   The victory breaks a streak of nine defense wins across several states. Hopefully, we get two more big wins in San Diego and Philadelphia and put pressure back on Bayer to make reasonable Roundup settlement offers to resolve these cases. The company has already set aside billions to settle these cases. Now, these just need to set aside some more billions to put this litigation to bed.

Roundup Update October 12, 2023

Yesterday we slipped in a Roundup trial in San Diego we have not previously mentioned. A California state court jury in San Diego heard opening statements yet another Monsanto’s Roundup trial. In Dennis v. Monsanto, the plaintiff alleges that exposure to Roundup led to his non-Hodgkin lymphoma at 51. This trial, alongside two more ongoing trials in Missouri and Pennsylvania, is being tried from a more 10,000 feet view than previous trials. Lawyers in all three cases focus less on glyphosate and more on a more fundamental and easier-to-prove premise: Roundup causes cancer.

Roundup Update October 11, 2023

A new Roundup cancer trial is now underway in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia. Monsanto (Bayer) has been winning almost all of the Roundup cases that have gone to trial over the last two years, including a recent victory in St. Louis in a trial that ended last month. Many are predicting a much different outcome in this trial, however. Philadelphia is a good jurisdiction for plaintiffs.

In opening statements, the plaintiffs’ Roundup attorney argued that the alleged cancer-causing effects of Roundup aren’t solely due to glyphosate. We saw this in St. Louis and San Diego in other trials this week, which clearly marks a trial strategy change. Another component, surfactant, was labeled as “a problem chemical,” with claims that several harmful substances in Roundup were not disclosed on its packaging.

So this emphasis on other ingredients in the Monasanto weedkiller reflects a change in approach, as earlier strategies focused solely on the effects of glyphosate. It encourages juries to get out of the weeds and look at what really matters: does this product cause cancer?   Because that is the question that really matters. There is reason to be optimistic about this case. Stay tuned.

Roundup Update October 10, 2023

Plaintiffs’ attorneys in a new trial in St. Louis have introduced new allegations in recent Roundup pesticide trials. They allege  Monsanto was aware that multiple ingredients in the product were linked to cancer, not just the previously focused-on active ingredient, glyphosate.

Roundup Update October 2, 2023

There is a big Monsanto weed killer class action in Australia about – you guessed it – whether exposure to Roundup can lead to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

There is no jury. This judge-only trial, presided over by Justice Michael Lee in federal court in Melbourne, will address whether Roundup causes cancer. The trial’s first phase is set to conclude on October 31, 2023.

Does this have a direct impact on Roundup lawsuits in the United States? No. But if this result is a significant award for the 800 people in this class action and a warning is put on the product in Australia, the ripple effects across the Pacific Ocean will be felt here.

Roundup Update September 28, 2023

The McCostlin case ended up being dismissed at the close of the plaintiffs’ case today. This is Monsanto’s 9th win in a row. The trial judge did not believe that the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Barry Boyd, pushed them over the finish line to prove specific causation, i.e., Roundup caused this man to be diagnosed with NHL.

What I can say now that I couldn’t say before is that the conventional wisdom was this was not a strong case. No one was excited about it. I’ve repeatedly said that Monsanto is only letting weak cases go to trial. It is like Alabama football only playing middle school teams and bragging about its great record. Sure, this annoying strategy is working and giving Monsanto momentum. But let’s call it what it is.

This changes next month in Philadephia, where I predict a large verdict… or a big confidential settlement.

Roundup Update September 22, 2023

Donna Farmer testified yesterday in McCostlin v. Monsanto. She has been in the middle of all this and has been the face of Monsanto. She is likable when she testifies (there is a YouTube video out there you can watch).

But facts are facts. She had to admit that studies indicating the weedkiller’s impact on chromosomes were primarily conducted by independent researchers, while research asserting no chromosomal harm was predominantly funded by Monsanto. When this litigation had just started, I wrote a since-deleted blog post saying I did not think Roundup caused cancer. At the time, I did not know that Monsanto funded all the medical literature I was relying on.

Roundup Update September 19, 2023

Yesterday,  Richard DeGrandchamp, a toxicologist from the University of Colorado, testified at the latest Roundup trial in St. Louis about studies that have come out since 2015 linking Roundup to NHL.   More recent studies have shown that it can cause other harmful effects on our body’s DNA and cells, he said. However, during questioning, DeGrandchamp admitted that he’s made most of his money in the past 30 years by being a paid expert in court cases, earning about $2 million lately. While that might raise some eyebrows, it’s a regrettably common practice for experts on both sides in mass torts in 2023. Let’s hope the jury focuses on the solid science he’s sharing.

McCostlin v. Monsanto is available to watch on the Courtroom View Network.

Roundup Update September 18, 2023

We talked about the trial schedule in Philadelphia. There are two pivotal Monsanto Roundup cases are due for trial in St. Louis soon:

October 2, 2023: Case of Allegrezza against Monsanto

January 23, 2024: Case of Griswold against Monsanto

In Allegrezza, the plaintiff asserts that her non-Hodgkin lymphoma resulted from prolonged Roundup usage, while David Griswold believes his 20 years of using the product led to the same condition.

Roundup Update September 14, 2023

While we wait to see how the next Missouri Roundup trial that started yesterday plays out, the initial set of trials related to Philadelphia’s Roundup lawsuits get rolling next month. They keep rolling until the end of 2024. Below is a breakdown of the trial dates:

Date Plaintiff
October 5, 2023 Ernest Caranci
November 7, 2023 John Sosnoski
January 23, 2024 Joseph DiGiacomo
March 13, 2024 MaryAnn Sopko
May 1, 2024 Thomas Donohue
July 12, 2024 Richard DeAngelis
September 20, 2024 Joseph DiNuzzo

There are 200 Roundup cases in Philadelphia and a lot more waiting to be filed.

Roundup Update September 13, 2023

The opening statement began yesterday in another Missouri courtroom today. In McCostlin v. Monsanto, the plaintiff’s lawyer argued that Mr. McCostlin’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma resulted from using Roundup for more than 30 years in Lenexa, Kansas. Bayer’s lawyer pushed their “all NHL is from random cellular errors” theory, which seems pretty ridiculous.

Roundup Update September 10, 2023

The epicenter of the Roundup lawsuits has shifted to state court in St. Louis and Philadelphia, where we will hopefully see significant verdicts this fall. But the Roundup MDL is still moving forward.

On November 3, 2022, the MDL judge issued a directive for all Wave 6B plaintiffs, including the plaintiff in this instance, to furnish their expert reports by no later than July 26, 2023. This is actually a good thing; Judge Chhabria is pushing these cases along.

As mandated by this order, these expert reports must be accompanied by comprehensive written reports endorsed by the experts themselves. These reports should include a thorough account of all the opinions the witnesses intend to express, along with the rationale and basis for these opinions, among other required details, as outlined in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(B)(i). This rule applies to every event (not mass tort) filed in federal court.

Monsanto has filed a motion for summary judgment in an MDL Monsanto lawsuit, Kelly-Leppert v. Monsanto (3:21-cv-02910-VC), alleging the plaintiff failed to meet the deadline for submitting an expert report concerning specific causation.

We do not know why the plaintiff failed to name an expert. We will have to wait for the plaintiffs’ response to determine the story.

Roundup Update August 17, 2023

Every Monsanto lawsuit update seems depressing of late, and today is no exception. The plaintiffs suffered a tough loss on venue this week, which matters in these Missouri suits. In St. Louis, six plaintiffs filed Roundup lawsuits against Monsanto. Despite no injuries originating in Missouri, the claims were lodged in St. Louis. Monsanto tried to transfer the venue for five out of the six cases to St. Louis County.

Following a series of legal challenges, including a consolidation of claims, the circuit court denied Monsanto’s request for a venue change. However, based on Missouri law, the Missouri Supreme Court determined that the circuit court must relocate the venue for five of the six plaintiffs’ claims.

The crux of the case revolved around the correct interpretation of Missouri’s venue statute for determining the proper location to hear a lawsuit.

The main contention lies in section 508.010.5(1) of the statute, which determines the venue for actions alleging a tort where the plaintiff’s first injury occurred outside Missouri. For corporations, the venue is where the corporation’s registered agent “is located” when the lawsuit is filed rather than where the agent was when the injury occurred.

The Court emphasizes the importance of the present tense language in the statute and contrasts it with other sections that use the past tense, suggesting that the legislature’s word choice was deliberate. Given the statute’s clear language, the Court determines that venue should be based on the registered agent’s current location, not their past location. So because Monsanto’s registered agent was located in St. Louis County at the time of filing,  St. Louis County is the appropriate venue.

One of the six cases will remain in St. Louis City because Monsanto’s lawyers screwed up the removal.

This is a loss because you would expect a higher damage award and a greater likelihood of success in St. Louis than in St. Louis country, where Roundup plaintiffs have struggled.

Roundup Update August 2, 2023

The Attorney General for the State of New York filed a lawsuit against Bayer alleging that it deceived NY consumers by selling Roundup as an environmentally safe weed killer when it knew or should have known that the product could cause cancer. In a surprising move, Bayer recently announced that it had agreed to settle this case for $6.9 million. The lawsuit was based on violations of New York laws regarding false and misleading advertising.

Roundup Update July 23, 2023

Monsanto is now seeking to exclude expert opinion testimony from Dr. Ron Schiff, a prominent expert witness for the plaintiffs. Monsanto claims that Dr. Schiff’s opinions about the link between Roundup and cancer rely on a flawed methodology and should, therefore, be viewed as unreliable.

Roundup Update June 30, 2023

We have been discussing a need to change the momentum of the last 18 months of this litigation. If there is a place to do that, it is Philadelphia, a jurisdiction known to be fair to victims.

The ball gets rolling this fall. The first batch of trials in the city’s mass tort lawsuit involving Roundup will commence this fall. The schedule will hold everyone’s feet to the fire, so we should get trial dates.

Philadelphia is a very different venue from St. Louis County, and you might see results more in line with what we saw in the MDL. About 200 Roundup NHL lawsuits are in the Philadelphia mini-MDL, with many more to be filed.

Roundup Update June 16, 2023

More Bayer Monsanto news today: Bayer CropScience LP and Monsanto Co. have agreed to settle for nearly $7 million over false and misleading advertising claims about their Roundup weedkiller with the state of New York. Bayer was charged with making unsubstantiated claims that Roundup products wouldn’t harm anything but weeds and didn’t threaten animal wildlife health.

Additionally, they implied that Roundup products were safer than dish soap, contradicting a previous agreement. This settlement is specifically related to Roundup’s environmental impact, not its effects on human health. Proceeds from the settlement will be used for research, education, and habitat restoration to reduce toxic pesticides’ impact on pollinators and aquatic life.

Why is Roundup still being sold?  That is the real question.

Roundup Update June 12, 2023

The Supreme Court of Arkansas refused a petition from Monsanto seeking to overturn a decision by a Drew County judge that necessitates Werner Baumann, the ex-CEO of Bayer, in a state court Roundup lawsuit in Arkansas. The justices found that a writ of certiorari, which Monsanto was seeking, does not serve as an appropriate avenue to contest a discovery order unless there has been a blatant, severe abuse of discretion or a jurisdictional issue arises.

Roundup Update May 24, 2023

Bayer won the Gordon trial last night, marking its 7th victory in a row.

Not good. In the second to last paragraph of the May 1st update below, we explain why Bayer let this case go to trial. It had fundamental weaknesses from the plaintiffs’ perspective on jurisdiction and the facts of the case. But, at the end of the day, a loss is a loss.

Roundup Update May 16, 2023

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to intervene in a $39 million class settlement concerning Monsanto’s Roundup. The settlement, which includes a significant $14.4 million cy pres award, was contested by an objector who argued that this sizeable charitable component inappropriately redirected class members’ compensation.

However, the district court and the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit had previously approved the settlement, which was reached after plaintiffs accused Monsanto of misleading consumers about the weed killer’s health risks.

Roundup Update May 11, 2023

The Gordon trial is in St. Louis County, a place Bayer desperately wants to be instead of the city of St. Louis. Yesterday, Bayer argued in Missouri’s Supreme Court that a single term within tort reform legislation prevents a set of Roundup cases from being tried in St. Louis. The agribusiness giant seeks to permanently overturn a judge’s decision, which denied their request to shift a consolidated case involving six former Roundup users from St. Louis City to St. Louis County.

The controversy centers around two subsections of the state’s venue laws. Monsanto asserts that Subsection 5, which states the venue is where the “registered agent is located,” means when the suit is filed. However, the plaintiffs counter with Subsection 9, which states, “In all actions, venue shall be determined as of the date the plaintiff was first injured.” A fear that one judge raised is whether this interpretation might permit corporations to manipulate the venue by changing their registered agent’s location when they anticipate litigation.

The likelihood of success for a St. Louis Monsanto cancer lawsuit is much higher in the city than it is in the county. So this is a meaningful fight.

Roundup Update May 10, 2023

The Gordon trial we discussed in the last update on April 26 is moving forward slowly. The plaintiff is still putting on her case.

Roundup Update May 1, 2023

Where are we on expected settlement amounts in the Roundup NHL lawsuits right now? There are approximately ten zillion lawyer pages on Roundup, and no one talks about the one issue victims care about.

The expected settlement amounts for the remaining inventory of Roundup weedkiller lawsuits are dropping. Let’s go ahead and get that out in the open. Why? Bayer is winning, and some lawyers are losing their unbridled confidence in cases, especially those involving the non-commercial use of Roundup. One canary in the coal mine: lawyers are not marketing for Roundup as they were just months ago.

Much of this is the fruit of good strategy from Bayer’s lawyers. They are trying cases they can win and settling the ones they fear. And they have been making the right calls, which has turned the tide in terms of how much money plaintiffs’ lawyers think they are worth. If you ask different attorneys in the litigation what the expected settlement payouts are now, you will get a wide range of answers. But the common thread is that those settlement payout estimates are less than they were last year at the same time.

That can all change in a New York minute. What plaintiffs need is a win at trial. Another new Roundup cancer trial began on April 26 in St. Louis County, Missouri. This case involves Sharlean Gordon’s claims that she was regularly exposed to Roundup when her stepfather used it around the house during her childhood. Gordon asserts that this exposure resulted in her being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 39 (making Gordon one of the youngest Roundup plaintiffs to go to trial). During opening statements, plaintiffs pushed a Monsanto memo from 2009 written by Donna Farmer, the chief toxicologist at Monsanto’s product safety center. The document bluntly stated, “You cannot say that Roundup does not cause cancer. We have not done the carcinogenicity studies with Roundup.”

Why is Bayer letting this one go to trial? Montsanto’s lawyers like the non-commercial cases anyway, and this one has particular appeal for them because the exposure was so long ago. It is also helpful to Bayer that the plaintiff is obese (a risk factor) and has been cancer-free for ten years. So they are willing to roll the dice in St. Louis County, where juries are generally more conservative than those in the nearby City of St. Louis, where several Roundup lawsuits are waiting to be heard. Bayer continues to pick and choose its spots.

We need to win this one. Or the next one. Three more Roundup trials are scheduled for June in Florida, San Diego, and again in Missouri.

Roundup Update March 17, 2023

Monsanto is asking the Eleventh Circuit to affirm the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming the company failed to warn about Roundup’s health risks. John Carson Sr. alleges he developed soft-tissue cancer from years of using the glyphosate-based weedkiller on his lawn. This is the goofy case where Bayer paid Carson to appeal his case, trying to split the circuits so the Supreme Court would take the case. The Supreme Court has already refused to hear Bayer’s appeal.

Monsanto argues that Carson’s claims are preempted by federal pesticide labeling law, which disallows any state-law labeling or packaging requirements that differ from those required under federal law. A district court initially threw out Carson’s suit but was reinstated in July 2022 by a three-judge appeals court panel. The full Eleventh Circuit agreed to review Monsanto’s appeal in December 2022.

Roundup Update February 27, 2023

Professor David Carpenter, an expert plaintiffs’ witness in several Roundup lawsuits, has been reinstated at the State University of New York at Albany after Monsanto lawyers attempted to discredit him. Lawyers for Monsanto contacted the University after Carpenter served as an expert in Roundup cases and prompted the University to put the professor on leave pending an investigation. Monsanto’s defense team attempted to use the investigation to their advantage in several ongoing Roundup cases. Last week, however, the University reinstated Carpenter and cleared him of wrongdoing.

There is a deeper backstory that will eventually come out of this.

Roundup Update February 25, 2023

The Missouri Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling halting a six-plaintiff Roundup trial that had just begun in St. Louis. The court ruled that the case was brought in St. Louis in violation of Missouri’s relatively new law to prevent forum shopping by plaintiffs. St. Louis is a notoriously plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction, but lawyers for Bayer convinced the court that the case lacked sufficient connections to St. Louis since none of the six plaintiffs were residents of Missouri.

Roundup Update February 3, 2023

A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute presented further evidence that chronic exposure to glyphosate (the chemical in Roundup) increases cancer risk. The study included 268 farmers with occupational exposure to glyphosate and compared their health histories to non-farmers without exposure. It found that specific oxidative stress biomarkers (known to increase cancer risk) were significantly higher in the group with glyphosate exposure.

Roundup Update January 21, 2023

A woman filed a Monsanto lawsuit and was expecting to get around $120,000 in settlement compensation. Still, the law firm representing her in the case refused to cut her a check after learning she was not a legal U.S. citizen. A public interest law firm is now bringing a lawsuit on behalf on her behalf against both Bayer and her law firm. The suit asserts that her citizenship should not have excluded her from the settlement.

Roundup Update January 18, 2023

The focus of the Roundup litigation has shifted to state courts. But there is still a federal Roundup class action lawsuit. The MDL in federal court still has 4,158 active cases as of yesterday. Many of these cases are pending settlement.

Roundup Update January 11, 2023

The next Roundup cancer trial could happen later this month in St. Louis. Griswold v. Monsanto was supposed to go to trial this week, but the trial date was postponed to January 23, 2023. This case will be televised on the Courtroom View Network.

Bayer has scored defense verdicts in the last few Roundup cases that went to trial in St. Louis. However, in other cases, Bayer has opted to avoid trial by negotiating last-minute settlements.

Roundup Update January 1, 2023

Bayer seems to hold out hope that Bayer Roundup lawsuits will get dismissed in 2023. The dubious reason for the optimism is the 11th Circuit agreed to an en banc review of a decision by a 3-judge panel dismissing Bayer’s federal preemption argument in a Roundup case. The en banc review will involve all of the judges in the 11th Circuit reconsidering the initial decision. The 9th Circuit denied Bayer’s preemption argument, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

Give Bayer credit, I guess. It does not quit. But its optimism that this is anything other than spinning wheels is misguided. The only winner in this effort will be Bayer’s outside lawyers billing by the hour.

2022 Roundup Litigation Updates

Roundup Update December 12, 2022

Last month, the latest Roundup cancer trial was supposed to get underway in California state court. But that trial never happened. Bayer settled the lawsuit at the last minute because that is what it does when the plaintiff has a strong case.

The case was Langford v. Monsanto Co. et al. (CGC-21-592238). It was set for trial in San Francisco last month. However, just three days before the trial was supposed to begin, the clerk removed it from the calendar with a note stating, “Case settled October 7, 2002.”

The settlement terms are confidential. So we cannot know how much Bayer paid to the plaintiff. But it is fair to say a settlement premium is paid for cases ripe for trial.

Roundup Update November 11, 2022

Another trial in St. Louis involving claims that exposure to Roundup caused cancer has resulted in a disappointing defense verdict. The trial in the case, Moore v. Monsanto, et al., lasted nearly one month, and the jury found that the plaintiff had failed to prove his case. Ten more Roundup cases are set for trial in the months ahead. Bayer offers a Roundup settlement in some of these cases. They will let the weak ones go to trial.

Roundup Update November 10, 2022

The next Roundup trial started in California state court this week.   The plaintiff in this Monsanto lawsuit regularly sprayed Roundup on his Northern California property for over 30 years. He continued to use Roundup after his NHL diagnosis in 2007 because he did not know of the risk of NHL associated with Roundup. This trial was expedited because Mr. Langford is in poor health.

The last Roundup trial in St. Louis resulted in a significant victory for Bayer, which won defense verdicts against all three plaintiffs. But California juries have awarded billions in the three Roundup verdicts.

Roundup Update November 3, 2022

A new study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology found that prenatal or perinatal exposure to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) can trigger an iron overload and cause permanent liver damage. This study was done by a team of researchers in Brazil who examined the impact of glyphosate exposure in laboratory rats. It is just the most recent in a seemingly continuous stream of studies highlighting the potential harm of Roundup exposure.

Roundup Update October October 20, 2022

St. Louis County, Missouri, will be the venue for another Roundup cancer trial in two days. The trial is set for October 22, 2022, and will feature a single plaintiff, Stacey Moore. The last Roundup trial in St. Louis ended in a defense verdict.

Roundup Update October 4, 2022

The next Roundup trial is in California state court on November 7, 2022.

Roundup Update October 3, 2022

The idea that glyphosate (the chemical ingredient in Roundup) is only linked to lymphoma and leukemia never really added up, right?   New research suggests that Roundup might also cause thyroid cancer. A research study by a team from UCLA published last month in a major medical journal looked at the impact of residential exposure to 29 different types of pesticides. A number of the pesticides were found to be associated with increased rates of thyroid cancer, with glyphosate having one of the strongest causal links.

Roundup Update September 6, 2022

Last week, a federal judge in Texas denied a motion for summary judgment filed by Bayer in a Roundup case. Bayer sought summary judgment based on a version of its federal preemption argument.

The same preemption argument was rejected by the 9th Circuit last year, and Bayer’s effort to appeal that rejection to the Supreme Court failed.

The Texas decision will probably be the first of many instances in which pending Roundup preemption arguments are shot down based on the 9th Circuit precedent.

Roundup Update September 2, 2022

The Roundup trial in St. Louis involving three separate plaintiffs and lasting nearly a month concluded yesterday. Bayer won.

The first handful of Roundup bellwether trials in 2018 resulted in gigantic verdicts for the plaintiffs. The verdicts were so significant that Bayer was forced to stop any additional trials and settle most of the pending Roundup cases.

More recently, however, Bayer has achieved defense victories in 5 state court Roundup trials in a row. Unlike the earlier bellwether cases, the recent trials involved cases that Bayer essentially hand-picked because they featured weaker claims. Four of the five most recent wins were in cases where Bayer was a heavy favorite to win because the facts were not strong for the victims bringing the claims. What happened to the strong cases? Bayer settles those.

Roundup Update August 26, 2022

An Arkansas state judge in an upcoming trial for a Roundup lawsuit ordered Bayer AG CEO Werner Baumann to be deposed about lymphoma and leukemia risk associated with Roundup. This is the first time Baumann has been ordered to testify in the Roundup cancer lawsuits.

Roundup Update August 25, 2022

Two of the three plaintiffs in the St. Louis Roundup trial – Gary Gentile and Marty Cox – took the stand to testify in support of their claims. Gentile explained that he was diagnosed with high-grade-B-cell lymphoma after years of regularly using Roundup for household landscaping.

Gentile’s wife, Mary, also testified to tell the jury about the emotional toll that cancer has taken on her husband and family. Defense lawyers briefly cross-examined both plaintiffs and focused primarily on the point that none of their doctors even told them that Roundup was the cause of their lymphoma. The final plaintiff, Cheryl Davis, will testify before the plaintiffs are expected to close their case.

Roundup Update August 14, 2022

The last two days of the Alesi Roundup trial have been devoted to more testimony from medical experts on the issue of causation. Dr. Marc Braunstein, an oncologist from NYU Winthrop Hospital, took the stand on August 12. Dr. Braunstein testified for nearly seven hours, and a clip of video testimony from Dr. Marc Martens, a former Monsanto scientist, followed him.

Roundup Update August 10, 2022

The latest Monsanto news is that the Alesi trial is still ongoing. Opening statements were made last Wednesday. Meanwhile, we are continuing to learn of the risk posed by Roundup. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup linked to cancer, may also cause an increased risk of neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Our lawyers have always gotten calls from Parkinson’s patients who claim Roundup caused their injuries. We have not taken those cases. But there may be something to it.

The study found clear evidence that glyphosate can pass through the blood-brain barrier, a feature displayed by many chemicals known to cause Parkinson’s disease and other neurologic diseases.

Roundup Update August 1, 2022

Jury selection begins today in a new Roundup cancer trial in St. Louis, and the entire proceeding will be webcast live by Courtroom View Network. The case (Alesi, et al. v. Monsanto, et al.) involves three plaintiffs in their 60 and 70s who used Roundup regularly for years and were subsequently diagnosed with lymphoma.

This will be the first Roundup case to go to trial in Saint Louis County Circuit Court, an urban venue that is not kind to corporate defendants. Earlier this year, Bayer settled a large group of cases to avoid going to trial in St. Louis County.

With several additional Roundup trials in St. Louis set for next year, the outcome of this trial could have a significant ripple effect. Bayer still has over $6 billion earmarked for the settlement of current and future Roundup claims.

Roundup News Update July 21, 2022

As most of you know, glyphosate is the chemical in Roundup that has been named a human carcinogen. The CDC recently released the startling results of a study indicating that 80% of the U.S. population may have this carcinogenic chemical in their urine. Sure, you never used Roundup. But you are eating food treated with Roundup, which is everywhere.

If you are reading these updates, you must wonder how Bayer could not feel besieged and surrounded. Bayer must offer reasonable Roundup settlement amounts to victims to move past this litigation and turn the page. That will not solve all of Bayer’s problems, but a global Roundup settlement would be a significant step toward turning that company around.

Roundup News Update July 14, 2022

The 11th Circuit ruled yesterday that claims that Bayer failed to adequately warn of the risk of cancer associated with Roundup are not subject to preemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. A federal judge in Georgia had dismissed a claim a plaintiff’s claim that Roundup caused his malignant fibrosis histiocytoma after using Roundup for 30 years.

The goofy – there is no other word – thing about this case is that Bayer already settled with this plaintiff and, as a part of the settlement, required the plaintiffs to appeal the duty to warn claim against Bayer. Why? Bayer hoped to create a split in the circuit courts to compel the Supreme Court to hear the case.   All of this legal scheming… and Bayer has nothing to show for it.

Roundup News Update July 8, 2022

The possibility of continuing Roundup liabilities with no end in sight continues to be a significant problem for Bayer. Since June 21, when the Supreme Court formally declined to hear Bayer’s appeal that could have terminated further Roundup claims, Bayer’s stock has dropped 12%. Continuing Roundup liability costs remain a significant concern for investors. The glyphosate-based version of Roundup will be pulled from retail shelves at the end of this year, but Bayer could still be facing another ten years or more of Roundup cancer claims by former users who have yet to be diagnosed.

Roundup News Update June 30, 2022

Bayer loses again. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a second Roundup verdict, this time the $87 million verdict for Alberta and Alva Pilliod.  Bayer had a slightly different – albeit ridiculous – additional argument that the punitive damages award violated the U.S. Constitution.

The conventional wisdom is that Bayer must pay another $5 billion or more to settle the remaining 30,000 Roundup lawsuits. That would be an average Roundup settlement of $167,000. This will not be enough money to settle these Monsanto lawsuits.

But not all of those 30,000 claims are viable lawsuits. (Some Roundup lawyers are gathering cases with dubious merit.)  But the Roundup settlement numbers look much better at 20,000 or 25,000 claims and Bayer putting up a few billion in addition to the $5 billion to increase settlement amounts to resolve these cases.

Roundup News Update June 22, 2022

Well, that nightmare is over. The Supreme Court rejected Bayer’s appeal.

Roundup News Update: June 18, 2022

Bayer won Johnson v. Monsanto in Oregon yesterday. This marks Bayer’s fourth consecutive victory in a Roundup trial.

It is easy to place too much significance on these recent defeats. Bayer is counting on that psychology. But as we get away from the MDL class action lawsuit and move towards more trials across the country in state courts, this allows Bayer to pick and choose the Roundup lawsuits it wants to try and the cases it wants to settle.

Roundup News Update: June 16, 2022

The latest Roundup trial in Oregon – Johnson v. Monsanto (21-cv-10291) in Jackson County Circuit Court – is moving faster than Shelton did in Kansas City. The plaintiff rested last week and Monsanto is deep in the defense case. We could get a verdict this week.

Roundup News Update June 13, 2022

This week, the Supreme Court is scheduled to decide whether to hear the appeal filed by Bayer seeking to reverse the course of the Roundup litigation.

It has been almost a year since the Supreme Court put off the initial decision on whether to hear the appeal and invited the Biden administration to weigh in on the issues. Since then, the Solicitor General has filed a brief advising the SCOTUS to reject Bayer’s legal arguments. Now all that remains is for the Court to deny the appeal formally.

Roundup News Update: June 10, 2022

After seven hours of deliberation, the jury found for Bayer in the Shelton case in Kansas City. A loss – any loss – in a Roundup weed killer lawsuit hurts. But you have to keep in mind that Bayer settled the last case coming up for trial in Kansas City because it did not like the facts. Bayer liked this case better and took it to trial. There will be more trials and more victories for plaintiffs.

The frustrating thing about this loss is that a big verdict in Shelton would have destroyed Bayer’s morale to defend these cases. Now, they likely are emboldened until the next significant verdict.

Waiting on Shelton

At this point, the focus of the Bayer NHL lawsuit is waiting for a jury verdict in St. Louis in Shelton. There is still no verdict. Last week, Bayer’s Roundup lawyers filed several motions to exclude specific evidence from this Roundup lawsuit.

Shelton’s lawyer concluded his case last week. Monsanto immediately filed a motion seeking a directed verdict. Defendants in tort cases frequently filed these types of motions at the close of the plaintiff’s case. As expected, the motion was denied.

On Wednesday, the trial judge denied Monsanto’s earlier motion to strike the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert on causation. So we now move on to the presentation of Monsanto’s defense.

The defense lawyers’ considerable effort, which will almost certainly fail, is to strike the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert on specific causation (Dr. Ken Spaeth). Bayer/Monsanto also challenged the admissibility of a 2019 letter from the EPA to registered sellers/manufacturers of glyphosate. The trial judge held a hearing (without the jury) on these motions on Friday.

Philadelphia May Become New Center of Roundup Lawsuits

In other Roundup lawsuit news, Pennsylvania state court Judge Lysette Shirdon-Harris has ordered a mini Roundup class action lawsuit. Her order consolidates over 100 Roundup lawsuits into a class action consolidated for discovery.

How are these Roundup lawsuits in state court? These lawsuits also name as a defendant the chemical maker Nouryon which produces a key toxic element of Roundup. The plaintiffs allege that Nurion—headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania—produced a toxic ingredient in Roundup. (February 2024 Update: This proved prophetic with $2.5 billion in verdicts in the first three trials.)

Huge win on May 10, 2022. The Biden Administration does not support Bayer’s appeal.

The MDL class action lawsuit is in a holding pattern. But the next Roundup Monsanto lawsuit to go to trial will be Allan Shelton’s case. This herbicide suit is underway right now in state court in Missouri. Roundup lawsuits are in state court in Missouri because Monsanto is based in Missouri.

Will that case go to a verdict? I doubt it. I think Bayer will handle this like the last Roundup trial set in St. Louis, settling before the jury gets the case. But who knows?

As of May 24, 2022, there is still no verdict in Shelton.

What Are the Facts of Shelton v. Monsanto?

Kansas City native Allan Shelton was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma before he was 30. He began using Roundup when he was ten years old.

Mr. Shelton’s Roundup lawyer told the jury in opening statements that glyphosate is ubiquitous and Monsanto is to blame.

Roundup Litigation

Not too long ago, Roundup was the most popular weedkiller in the world used by homeowners and professional farmers. But then, many scientific studies started suggesting that prolonged exposure to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) might cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. These studies led specific international health organizations to add glyphosate to their list of possible human carcinogens, sparking a rapid downward spiral for Roundup.

The identification of glyphosate as a possible carcinogen led to a wave of Roundup lawsuits by plaintiffs claiming that their use of Roundup caused them to develop lymphoma (and other diseases). Eventually, every  Roundup lawsuit in federal courts was consolidated into a new mass tort MDL in the Northern District of California. The Roundup MDL gradually grew to over 100,000 cases, with thousands of additional Roundup cases pending in state courts in California.

Huge Roundup Verdicts Broke Monsanto’s Resolve

I think Monsanto had a somewhat unique corporate resolve to ignore the evidence that Roundup causes NHL. They started off relying on unreliable data to prove their hypothesis, and when the evidence became clear, Monsanto stuck their heads in the sand. I’m convinced this is how history will write this story.

After years of discovery, that unshakable resolve crumbled. The first Roundup cases went to trial with disastrous results for Bayer. The first two trials resulted in $289 million and $80 million verdicts. The third trial ended in an eye-popping verdict of $2 billion for the plaintiff.

These verdicts effectively broke Bayer’s resolve, and they immediately shifted their focus on negotiating settlements, eventually setting aside $16 billion to cover settlements of pending claims.

Most Pending Roundup Cases Have Been Settled

In March 2022, Bayer, who owns Roundup and Monsanto, told investors that the company had reached tentative settlement agreements in roughly 98,000 pending Roundup lawsuits. This accounts for nearly 80% of all pending Roundup cases. Bayer has brokered these settlements primarily by negotiating block settlement arrangements with lawyers with large numbers of litigation cases.

Points System for Monsanto’s Roundup Settlement

The Roundup settlements are somewhat complicated because they create a complex point-scoring system designed to rank cases into settlement tiers based on the strength of claims and severity of injuries. Cases specific factors such as type of cancer, treatment outcome, age of the victim, estimated earnings capacity, etc., are awarded point scores. Individual cases are then placed into settlement tiers based on point scores and cases with higher scores get a bigger payout. Cases with lower point scores end up getting much smaller payouts.

Example of a Recent Roundup Lawsuit

Ohio resident Gene Wyatt became one of the most recent plaintiffs in the ongoing Roundup litigation. Wyatt filed a Roundup lawsuit in the Southern District of Ohio against Monsanto. Wyatt’s case was subsequently transferred to the Roundup MDL in the Northern District of California.

Wyatt alleges that he was regularly exposed to Roundup while using it as part of his job with the Ohio Department of Transportation in Washington Courthouse, Ohio, from 2001 to 2011. Part of Wyatt’s regular job duties is spraying Roundup from a vegetation applicator to control weeds. In January 2015, five years after his 10-year occupational Roundup exposure, Wyatt was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Wyatt’s lawsuit alleges that his leukemia was caused by his ten years of exposure to Roundup.

The Future of Roundup Lawsuits

While Bayer continues to work on settling these remaining Roundup cases, the company is telling investors that future Roundup liabilities will depend on the outcome of the company’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Future liability has been one of the most significant issues for Bayer in the Roundup litigation. It may take years or even decades for Roundup users to develop lymphoma. This means Bayer could face a steady stream of new Roundup lawsuits for the next 20 years. This type of “long tail” tort liability can be a nightmare for publicly traded corporations like Bayer.

Initially, Bayer sought to deal with future liability issues through a controversial global Roundup settlement arrangement that would have stayed and potentially frozen all future Roundup lawsuits. This proposal met fierce opposition and was rejected by the MDL back in May.

Bayer has now adopted a two-pronged strategy to limit its future Roundup liability. First, Bayer announced that it would pull glyphosate-based Roundup from retail shelves at the start of 2023. The original Roundup will be replaced by a new version that does not contain glyphosate. This move will effectively cap any future Roundup liability years down the line.

The second prong of Bayer’s strategy is based on winning an appeal to the Supreme Court in the Hardeman case. Hardeman was the very first Roundup bellwether trial that resulted in a massive verdict. Bayer has been appealing the Hardeman, hoping to win a game-changing legal argument. Bayer is arguing that the Roundup claims should be preempted by federal law because the EPA has found that cancer warnings are not required for glyphosate. If Bayer can get an appellate court to accept this legal argument, it would effectively block many future Roundup claims.

Bayer has already presented this argument to the 9th Circuit and lost. Now Bayer is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the issue. In August, Bayer filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court in the Hardeman appeal.

Bayer hopes the appeal to the Supreme Court will save them, but the company already has a solid backup plan. If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case or rejects Bayer’s legal argument, Bayer has plans to set up an administrative process to handle future claims and has already set aside $4 billion to cover the cost. (Get an update on the Supreme Court appeal.)

Roundup Lawsuit Questions and Answers

What is the average payout for a Roundup lawsuit?

The average settlement payouts for Roundup lawsuits in the first settlement was between 100,000 to $160,000. Our lawyers expect more in the second round of settlements after all of these huge verdicts in 2023 and 2024. 

Because the real question in 2024 is what the average Roundup compensation payout will be for the remaining cases. If you had asked this question before November 2023, our lawyers would have said less than the first round of settlements.

But in 2024, the expected average payout for a Roundup lawsuit is expected to be higher than the original Monsanto settlements in the original $10 billion deal.

What Is the Win-Loss Record in the Bayer Lawsuits?

Plaintiffs are 11-10 with verdict totally $ 7 billion. Our update at the top of this page has a 2024 updated scorecard of all Roundup Verdicts.

How many Roundup lawsuits have been settled?

We don’t know for certain how many Roundup lawsuits have been settled. In February 2024, our Roundup NHL lawyers estimate that 40,000-50,000 Roundup lawsuits are still pending.   

Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Roundup Settlement Checks?

No. With a few exceptions, settlements in personal injury lawsuits are not taxable as income. So you do not pay taxes on your Roundup settlement check.

Call a Roundup Lawyer Today

If you need a Roundup lawyer to fight against Monsanto, call us today at 800-553-8082.   There is a deadline to file, which is a really big deal. So call our lawyer or call another lawyer today. Don’t wait. You can also reach out to us online.

 

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