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 August 2022 (including updates from the last few trials),
  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)

30,000 Roundup Cases Left… and Counting

As of October 2022, 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 large numbers of cases in the litigation.

Although these settlements account for nearly 80% of all pending Roundup claims, there are still about 26,000-30,000 active Roundup lawsuits.  Most lawsuits have been filed in state court. But there are still over 4,000 claims in the MDL Roundup class action lawsuit pending in California.

New Roundup lawsuits continue to get filed regularly.  Our Roundup attorneys get calls and online contact forms from Roundup victims with NHL almost every day.

November 2022 Roundup Update

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 1 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 will over 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 case 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 major 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.

October 2022 Roundup Update

Roundup Update October October 20, 2022

St. Louis County, Missouri will be the venue for yet 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 lawsuits

September 2022 Roundup Update

Roundup Update September 6, 2022

A federal judge in Texas last week denied a motion for summary judgment filed by Bayer in a Roundup case. Bayer was seeking 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 back in 2018 resulted in a series of gigantic verdicts for the plaintiffs. The verdicts were so big that Bayer was essentially forced to stop any additional trials and start settling 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 were in cases that Bayer essentially hand-picked because featured weaker claims. At least four out of the five most recent wins were in cases where Bayer was probably 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.

August 2022 Roundup Update

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 2 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 he was followed by a clip of video testimony from Dr. Marc Martens, a former Monsanto scientist.

Roundup Update August 10, 2022

The Alesi trial is still ongoing. Opening statements were last Wednesday.  Meanwhile, we are continuing to learn of the risk posed by Roundup.  A new study recently 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, which is a feature displayed by many chemicals that are 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 3 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 opted to settle a large group of cases just 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 major ripple effect. Bayer still has over $6 billion earmarked for settlement of current and future Roundup claims.

July 2022 Roundup Update

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 very 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 and this chemical is everywhere.

If you are reading these updates, you have to wonder how Bayer could not feel besieged and surrounded.  Bayer needs to 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 huge step on the path to 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 was hoping 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 major problem for Bayer. Since June 21st 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 major 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 10 years or more of Roundup cancer claims by former users who have yet to be diagnosed.

June 2022 Roundup Update

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 will need to pay another $5 billion or more to settle the remaining outstanding 30,000 Roundup lawsuits.  That would be an average Roundup settlement of $167,000. This will not be enough money to settle these lawsuits.

But not all of those 30,000 claims are viable lawsuits. (Some Roundup lawyers are gathering cases with dubious merit.)  But the settlement numbers look a lot 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 get these cases resolved.

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 along 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.

Round News Update: June 14, 2022

Nothing ever comes easy in the Roundup lawsuits. Yesterday, the Supreme Court was poised to reject Bayer’s appeal.  Instead, it took no action on Bayer’s effort to dismiss thousands of Roundup cancer lawsuits.

What does this mean? No one knows. The omission raises the possibility that the Supreme Court may hear the case. I still doubt it. We will hopefully learn more today.

Roundup News Update June 13, 2022

This week, the Supreme Court is scheduled to decide on whether or not 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 formally deny the appeal.

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 of the case.  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, I think, 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 big 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 seeking to exclude certain 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 seeking 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 big effort, and it 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 used in Roundup.

May 2022 Roundup Lawsuit Update

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 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.  My take is that Bayer will handle this one 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 years old.  He began using Roundup when he was 10 years old.

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

April 2022 Roundup Lawsuit Update

In addition to the 30,000 or so pending Roundup cancer lawsuits that remain unresolved, Bayer has been defending a consumer class action lawsuit. This Roundup lawsuit alleges the pesticide was illegally marketed and sold and was therefore overpriced.  I don’t understand these consumer class action lawsuits and have never liked how they usually turn out – the victims getting pennies while the lawyers make a ton of money.

Anyway, these lawsuits seek partial refunds for the countless consumers who bought Roundup over the years. The parties recently submitted a proposed settlement under which Bayer would establish a fund of $45 million to resolve these consumer claims.

The MDL judge will only approve the settlement if adequate steps are taken to clarify to plaintiffs that the settlement does not prevent them from later filing a Roundup cancer case if they are diagnosed with NHL.

In other Roundup news, Bayer continues to await word from the Supreme Court on whether the justices will even hear Bayer’s argument on its appeal from the verdict in the Hardeman case. Both the MDL judge and the Ninth Circuit have previously rejected Bayer’s preemption argument.

In December, the Supreme Court declined to either grant or deny Bayer’s cert. petition and instead invited the Biden administration to weigh in with its brief. So far, however, Biden’s Solicitor General has not filed anything and there is no deadline for when the court has to decide.  Some people believe we can expect a response from the Biden administration in the coming months.

Another interesting piece of Roundup news this month is whether Roundup will get pulled from the market because of the risks it causes to endangered species.  This would be like sending Al Capone to jail for tax evasion, right?

January 2022 Roundup Lawsuit Update

On December 9, 2021, a Roundup trial resulted in another defense victory for Bayer after a jury in California ruled that the plaintiff’s cancer was not caused by her years of Roundup use.  It was a fairly classic NHL Roundup lawsuit.  The plaintiff, Donnetta Stephens, was a woman in her 70s who was diagnosed with lymphoma after years of using Roundup in her home gardening hobby.

The trial was conducted entirely via Zoom video call and dragged on for nearly 3 months.  This is a poor bellwether trial because of the insanity of trying to have such a complex trial by Zoom.  The emotion, the feel for the witnesses – you don’t get that on Zoom as we all know from using it for the last 20 months.

So our Roundup lawyers are still as bullish on the expected individual settlement amounts for Round Two of the Roundup lawsuits as we have ever been.

Roundup Litigation

Not too long ago, Roundup was the most popular weedkiller in the world used by homeowners and professional farmers alike. But then many scientific studies started coming out suggesting that prolonged exposure to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) might cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. These studies led certain 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

Monsanto had what I think is 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 because 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 2 trials resulted in verdicts of $289 million and $80 million. The third trial ended in an eye-popping verdict for the plaintiff of $2 billion.

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 who have large numbers of cases in the litigation.

Points System for Monsanto’s Roundup Settlement

The Roundup settlements are somewhat complicated because they create a detailed 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.

30,000 Roundup Lawsuits Remain

Although Bayer has entered into agreements to settle 80% of the pending Roundup claims, this still leaves over 26,000 currently active Roundup lawsuits that have not been settled. Moreover, new Roundup lawsuits continue to get filed regularly as new individuals are diagnosed.

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 on November 18, 2021. 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. Spraying Roundup from a vegetation applicator to control weeds is part of Wyatt’s regular job duties. In January 2015, 5 years after his 10-year period of occupational Roundup exposure, Wyatt was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Wyatt’s lawsuit alleges that his leukemia was caused by his 10 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 biggest 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 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 2 prong strategy for limiting 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 in the hopes of winning 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 is holding out hope that 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

When Will Roundup Victims Get Their Settlement Money?

Many Roundup victims have already gotten their money.  Many more will get their settlement checks this year or early next year.  The process takes too long.

As for the remaining 30,000 pending Roundup lawsuits in June 2022, there are settlement negotiations but no resolution. 

What is the average payout for a Roundup lawsuit?

The average settlement payouts for Roundup lawsuits has been around $100,000 to $160,000.

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

Plaintiffs won the first 3 Roundup lawsuits within massive victories for the plaintiffs: Johnson v. Monsanto (2018) = $289.2 million Hardeman v. Monsanto (2019) = $80.2 million Pilliod v. Monsanto (2019) = $2.055 billion.  Bayer has won the last four trials, most recently in June 2022 in the Johnson case in Oregon.

How many Roundup lawsuits have been settled?

We don’t know for certain how many Roundup lawsuits have been settled.  In August 2022, our Roundup NHL lawyers estimate 30,000 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.

Roundup Future Claim Compensation Fund

pesticide-239x300Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Bayer would pay $10.9 billion. Most of that money ($9.6 billion) will be paid to resolve the existing 125,000 claims involving exposure to Roundup before February 2021. However, the remaining $2 billion will be set aside for a highly controversial plan for dealing with claims based on “future” exposure to Roundup.

Some of the $2 billion will be used to create a “compensation fund” for a special class of individuals who were exposed to Roundup before February 2021, but have not yet been diagnosed with cancer and filed a lawsuit. Under the arrangement, anyone in this “class” would have access to free medical exams and could receive $200,000 in compensation if they are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the future.

In his filing earlier this week, Judge Chhabria raised the following questions about this aspect of the settlement proposal:

  • If the Court understands the settlement correctly, it binds anyone exposed to Roundup before February 3, 2021 (assuming they do not opt-out), but contemplates that the compensation fund and medical monitoring program can be terminated a few years after the settlement is approved. Why would it be in the interest of people exposed to Roundup before February 2021 to bind themselves to a fund and program that expires so quickly?
  • How should the Court evaluate whether the amount in the compensation fund is sufficient?
  • One way to evaluate the proposed settlement is to compare it to the status quo, which is that plaintiffs continue to sue and Monsanto continues to negotiate settlements with them. This comparison appears to be the primary focus of the briefs. But another way to evaluate the proposed settlement is to compare it to other more conventional arrangements. From the standpoint of the class members, how does the proposed settlement compare to an arrangement in which Monsanto puts a warning on its label sufficient to foreclose future claims and establishes a fund that offers compensation as a potential alternative to litigation?

“Science Panel” For Future Roundup Claims

By far the most contested aspect of the proposed Roundup settlement is the plan to create a “scientific panel” to study the evidence and issue a definitive finding as to whether or not Roundup causes cancer. The finding of this scientific panel would be fully binding on ALL future claimants and class members. If the panel finds that there is no evidence that Roundup causes cancer, future Roundup claims would be effectively precluded.

This aspect of the settlement proposal in the Roundup spray lawsuit has drawn widespread opposition and objections from various fronts. In previous hearings, Judge Chhabria has expressed significant doubts as to whether the science panel proposal was legally valid. In his filing earlier this week, Judge Chhabria cut right to the very heart of the issue on this in his last question:

Why is it in the interest of the class to agree in advance to the admission in future trials of the conclusions of a court-appointed independent science panel, given how well the trials have been going for plaintiffs without such a panel?

The answer to this question is obvious. It is NOT in the best interests of future claimants to agree to allow a science panel to preclude their claims in advance. This seems less like a question and more like a statement by Judge Chhabria as to why he may not approve the Roundup settlement.

We will know more soon.  This is a tough balancing act for this judge.  People want their Roundup settlement money now.  These victims have truly suffered. It is tragic that they still have to wait for their money. But this is complicated and there are many competing interests the judge must juggle.

UPDATE: Judge Balks at Approval and Suggests Warning Labels

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Judge Chhabria held the hearing on the request for preliminary approval of the multi-billion-dollar Roundup settlement proposal. Although Judge Chhabria punted on the request for preliminary approval at the hearing, he did seem to be slowly inching closer and gave the parties some suggestions on how to get to the finish line.

Two other key things came out of the May 19 hearing. First, it was explained that the future claims portion of the proposed settlement would cover 2 types or “classes” of Roundup claims.

Class 1 would include Roundup users who have already been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma but have not yet retained a lawyer and filed suit. Judge Chhabria speculated that this class would include a high number of migrant farmworkers. Class 2 under the future claims settlement proposal would include anyone with exposure to Roundup before February 2021 and who is diagnosed with lymphoma at some point in the future.

Judge Chhabria suggested that the proposed settlement deal currently on the table “could potentially be reasonable for class one,” because it adequately notifies class members of their rights and provides for compensation of up to $200,000 per claim.

Concerning Class 2, however, Judge Chhabria expressed major concerns with the validity and reasonableness of the settlement proposal. Judge Chhabria clearly stated that he was not willing to approve the current draft of the settlement and he suggested that the parties go back and make some adjustments.

The controversial proposal for handling future claims (Class 2) has been a sticking point for Bayer in the settlement negotiations. Bayer thinks the arrangement will prevent a continuing stream of Roundup claims into the distant future while keeping its popular product in stores.

Judge Chhabria strongly suggested that Bayer could achieve this goal by agreeing to put very strong warning labels on Roundup going forward. Bayer has resisted this in the past. Why resist a path that would put future Roundup claims to bed?  Profits.  Putting a cancer warning on a product like Roundup will decrease sales.  Bayer knows that.

UPDATE: October 2021 – Judge Denies Future Claims Proposal While Bayer Continues to Settle Pending Cases

As predicted by Judge Chhabria, Bayer’s proposal for resolving “future claims” in the Roundup litigation was simply too problematic.  After approval for the plan was formally denied, Bayer’s defense team quickly abandoned the idea and changed strategies. Bayer has now announced that it will stop selling glyphosate-based Roundup to retail consumers beginning in 2023. The company also set aside another $4 billion to cover liabilities for future Roundup claims.

Meanwhile, Bayer has continued to negotiate large block settlements of pending Roundup cases. The company advised investors that it has earmarked about $12 billion for the settlement of roughly 125,000 pending claims, many of which have already been settled and are waiting for dismissal.

Will the Individual States Ban Roundup Pesticide?

Congress is as dysfunctional as always.  But some states may ban Roundup on their own. In late November 2021, a newly created commission in Massachusetts is considering restrictions on the use of Roundup because it has been linked to cancer.   Many states may ban non-commercial use of Roundup before Monsanto takes Roundup off the market as planned in 2023.

Random Roundup Settlement Tea Leaf

Bayer announced in November 2021, that Liam Condon, the head of its crop science unit, would resign at the end of 2021.

This might be a stretch on my part to find some hidden Roundup settlement meaning in this.  I have no insider information.  But getting rid of the old guard of leadership who felt compelled to defend Roundup no matter what may be a good sign for settlement talks.  New leadership is more likely to say those were the mistakes of the past.  That mentality would make it easier for Monsanto to get on with it and settle the remaining 30,000 Roundup lawsuits.

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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