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Over the years, countless people in West Virginia and across the United States have sprayed Roundup on their lawns and gardens to rid them of weeds. While the popular herbicide has long been known as an effective weed killer, it’s recently become the subject of lawsuits for its alleged link to cancer — specifically, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
Roundup, now owned by Bayer but previously owned by Monsanto, contains the herbicide glyphosate as an active ingredient. Both Bayer and Monsanto have maintained that glyphosate is safe. Though the EPA has agreed, claiming that glyphosate does not pose a health risk to users, studies and reports from other organizations, including the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, have found the herbicide to be a likely carcinogen — an agent capable of causing cancer.
Courts in California have also found themselves at odds with the opinion of the EPA, siding with individuals who have claimed their cancer was caused by Roundup. In three separate trials, juries awarded massive sums of money to plaintiffs who sued Monsanto or Bayer for damages. Their payouts averaged about $50 million each. The first, and perhaps most famous, case involved a former school groundskeeper who was diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup 20 to 30 times per year and who was accidentally soaked in the product during two accidents. A jury found that Monsanto knew about reports stating that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen but tried to discredit those reports while also failing to warn Roundup users of potential danger.
According to an August 2019 article published by the Los Angeles Times, there are now more than 18,000 Roundup-related lawsuits pending against Bayer. In an attempt to prevent future litigation, Bayer is reportedly now in settlement talks with plaintiffs. A settlement could create a fund used to pay current plaintiffs along with people who bring forth cases in the future. Some experts have estimated that Bayer could expect to pay up to $20 billion in the settlement if another verdict comes back in favor of a plaintiff. More conservative estimates place the likely settlement amount closer to $6 billion, while plaintiffs’ attorneys are seeking upwards of $10 billion.
To build a successful products liability case, a plaintiff must prove that a product manufacturer, designer or marketer knew or should have known about the danger of a product but did not adequately warn consumers. Our attorneys at Prim Law Firm, PLLC in Hurricane, West Virginia represent individuals who are harmed by defective and dangerous products such as Roundup. We take on complex mass tort cases including those that involve harmful drugs or hernia mesh. To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team, call our office at 304-721-4619 or contact us online.