Roundup Weed Killer Lawsuit

Farming spraying his crops with herbicide Who can file a lawsuit?
  • Anybody who has been exposed to Roundup fumes can file a lawsuit against Monsanto for negligence, failure to warn, and distorting the truth
  • People who developed non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as a consequence of using Roundup
  • Family members of people who have died as a result of exposure to Roundup

Recent Settlements

  • Dewayne Johnson v Monsanto – awarded $289 million to the plaintiff
  • Edwin Hardeman v Monsanto – awarded $80 million in punitive damages
  • Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod v Monsanto resulted in over $2 billion in punitive damages

Roundup weed killer is a popular herbicide used by farmers and gardeners to protect their crops and vegetation against unwanted herbs and weeds. Roundup was invented by Monsanto in 1970 and became part of agricultural practice in 1974, becoming one of the most popular herbicides among consumers. Monsanto also introduced crop seeds that were resistant to Roundup, which led to an exponential increase in their sales, as farmers and gardeners could now kill undesirable and pesky weeds and grass without endangering their crops.

The active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide is glyphosate, and after the introduction of Monsanto’s Roundup, several glyphosate-based herbicides entered the market. In 2007, glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States' agricultural sector. However, despite their huge success, cases started coming to light where people accused Roundup of causing cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Multiple lawsuits were brought against Monsanto, and despite losing a lot of them, the company still maintains that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.

What Does Glyphosate Do?

Roundup’s main ingredient is glyphosate, which is an organophosphorus compound and is used as an alternative to chlorinated hydrocarbons, which are environmentally detrimental, as they stay in the environment for a long time. Glyphosate works by stopping a specific plant enzyme pathway – the shikimic acid pathway. This pathway is absolutely necessary for plants to survive. By inhibiting specific plant enzymes, glyphosate help to eliminate weeds and grasses that compete with crops and take away nutrients from the soil, not allowing the plant to grow to their full potential.

Glyphosate is sprayed onto the leaves of unwanted plants and weeds, in agricultural crops, forests, and urban gardens and lawns, to control the growth of unwanted plants and to regulate the growth of the wanted ones. As herbicides go, Roundup is non-selective. This means that it kills any plants that are exposed to it. To get around this issue, scientists and chemists made different formulations through which other plants were made resistant to glyphosate.

Monsanto also came out with a line of seeds that were immune to glyphosate’s ability to kill, and thus, thrive in areas sprayed with glyphosate. This further boosted farmers' and gardeners' inclination towards using Glyphosate-based herbicides, which, even today, are in use despite there being evidence that glyphosate is a potential carcinogen.

Who Is at Risk of Exposure?

Roundup isn’t just used in agricultural fields in far-off villages. While it mainly helps farmers grow food crops, it is also very present in the cities as people who maintain gardens, lawns, and parks also use Roundup to inhibit the growth of unwanted plants and herbs. Breathing in the mist when it is being sprayed, or consuming a food product that has glyphosate residue on it can be very dangerous.

Monsanto claims that since Roundup works by inhibiting and blocking plant enzyme pathways, it doesn’t affect humans and animals. However, more and more research is being conducted that proves that Monsanto’s claims are false. While we’re all exposed to Roundup, directly or indirectly, people who work in close proximity with the herbicide are more at risk than others. These people include:

  • Professional Gardeners: Hired to maintain public gardens, lawns, and parks.
  • Landscapers: Do everything from raking, mowing, trimming, planting, digging, mulching, and all kinds of other tasks to maintain yards and lawns.
  • Farmers: Herbicides are essential in farming as weeds could compromise the quantity and quality of the resultant food crops or cash crops.
  • Agricultural Workers: Other agricultural workers such as tractor drivers and additional hands hired during the harvesting season are also in dangerous proximity of Roundup.
  • Herbicide Applicators: Experts who apply herbicides to different crops according to their health and other issues.
  • Groundskeepers: Responsible for maintaining fields and lawns, groundskeepers use herbicides to keep certain weeds from overgrowing and ruining the appearance of the place.
Symptoms of Exposure to Roundup

Although pure glyphosate is not as toxic as people claim it to be, herbicides such as Roundup combine it with other ingredients and chemicals that make it more potent. Humans or animals come into contact with Roundup in three ways, and some of the symptoms they experience are given below:

Breathing in Glyphosate through the nose or mouth

Framers, gardeners, harvesters, and other agricultural workers who inhaled Roundup when it was sprayed have reported feeling irritation in their nose and throat.

Eating food that is treated or tainted with Glyphosate

While little amounts of glyphosate are excreted from the body in the form of urine and feces, swallowing products with Roundup residue is incredibly dangerous. Swallowing glyphosate has been reported to cause a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death.

Absorbing Glyphosate through the skin

Glyphosate does not get through the skin too easily, but if it does, it can alter the cell shape, weaken skin elasticity, cause a loss of protective function, increase a person’s vulnerability to disease, and can also cause loss of control over cells, which can lead to cancer.

These are just the effects of glyphosate. The added effects of all the other elements in Roundup are even more toxic and can have an even worse effect on our health.

Signs and Causes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a form of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system of the body, with the cancerous tumors forming from lymphocytes (types of white blood cells). Lymphocytes in a healthy body die at the end of their cycle, and the body produces new ones to replace them. In patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, these lymphocytes don’t die, and the abundance of lymphocytes makes your lymph nodes swell. Some of the signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Swollen abdomen (belly)
  • Feeling full after only a small amount of food
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Severe or frequent infections
  • Easy bruising or bleeding

If you or any of your loved ones are exhibiting these symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately to get a proper check-up and diagnosis, so that treatment can start before the cancer spreads outside of your lymphatic system.

While not much is known about the causes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, doctors have defined a couple of risk factors that have the potential to cause NHL.

  • Medications: Immunosuppressive therapy or medicines that suppress your immune system leaving your body vulnerable to new illnesses and unable to fight off or stop the growth of cancerous cells.
  • Infections: Certain bacteria and viruses have been shown to increase a person’s chances of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These conditions include HIV and Epstein-Barr infections, or the ulcer-causing bacteria, Helicobacter pylori.
  • Age: While it can occur at any age, it has been noticed that people over the age of 60 are at an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Chemicals: Particular chemicals, such as those used to kill off insects and weeds, may increase your chances of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Some of those chemicals are glyphosate and other chemicals used in Roundup.

There have been far too many cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in early users of Roundup, and it should not be dismissed. Scientists are conducting further studies and unearthing new evidence linking Roundup to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

What Claims Are Plaintiffs Bringing Against Monsanto?

Among the thousands of lawsuits filed against Monsanto by affected and suffering plaintiffs and the courts who have ruled in their favor, Monsanto is being charged with offenses such as:

  • Negligence: Monsanto has known for years that Roundup exposure has the potential to cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Studies revealing that there is a strong correlation between herbicides and cancer have existed since 1983, where experiments on mice showed that exposure to such chemicals causes tumors and cancers in mice.
  • Failure to Warn Roundup Users: Monsanto consistently refused to add a warning label on its products, alerting people to the possible risk of cancer as a result of extensive Roundup use. Monsanto also didn’t include Worker Safety Language on its product label to warn workers to wear protective gear when mixing or applying glyphosate.
  • Distorting the Truth: In light of increasing evidence that Roundup is a major cause of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Monsanto hired and paid researchers to write scientific papers that were actually ‘ghostwritten’ by Monsanto itself.
What is Monsanto’s Defense?

While the evidence keeps piling up, Monsanto stays adamant that Roundup does not cause cancer. It denies all the claims that people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have brought forward and refuses to accept that their product is capable of causing cancer. They also claim that glyphosate is not a carcinogen and that it is not responsible for the different conditions that the plaintiffs were diagnosed with.

According to reporters, Monsanto plans to argue preemption, which means that the company will demand that the cases be dropped because Roundup and its labeling has been approved by EPA, and thus, Monsanto cannot be held accountable.

The preemption argument didn’t hold very well in court, however, as Monsanto still lost a case, and the jurors decided in favor of the plaintiff, making Monsanto pay for compensatory and punitive damages.

Who Can File a Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Against Monsanto?

As of 2018, over 9,300 cases are being heard in the US that link this household product to a range of diseases and illnesses. Among these are gardeners, farmers, groundskeepers, landscapers, and homeowners. These are people who used the herbicide in their backyards or home gardens and have been exposed to Roundup and have detected DNA changes or cancerous tumors in their bodies.

Even children who have never handled Roundup but have been exposed to it during the time they spent in gardens that have been sprayed with Roundup may be eligible to file a lawsuit if they develop cancer or any of the other related conditions later on in life.

While the requirements state that anyone who has had a history of being exposed to Roundup qualifies for filing a Roundup weed killer lawsuit, there are specifications about how long a person has to be exposed to Roundup to bring a claim. There has been one such case where the victim was only exposed to Roundup for a mere eight hours and still got diagnosed with cancer and was able to successfully file a claim against Monsanto. As little as eight hours of exposure was enough to cause cancer and DNA changes. And as the courts decided, this was long enough to file a legal claim against the company.

If you or any of your loved ones have been exposed to harmful amounts of Roundup and have developed any of the diseases that are associated with overexposure to Roundup weed killer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Monsanto. The diseases associated with over-exposure to Roundup are as follows:

  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Bone cancer
  • B-cell lymphoma
  • Chromosomal damage
  • Renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer)
  • Pancreatic islet cell tumors
  • DNA damage
  • Skin tumorsOther forms of cancer

If your medical examination has turned up evidence of you having any of these diseases, and you have a history of handling Roundup in the past, you may be eligible to file a Roundup weed killer lawsuit, and try to pursue compensation for your suffering, pain, medical bills, and treatments. However, you have to bring a lawsuit within a certain time limit for it to hold up in a court of law.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Against Roundup Weed Killer?

The Statute of Limitations to file a lawsuit against Monsanto and Roundup Weed Killer will vary from state-to-state. Those who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or any other disease whose cause can be traced back to Roundup weed killer, should contact our injury lawyers for an initial consultation.

How Many Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against Monsanto?

Dewayne Johnson v Monsanto

The Monsanto fiasco is pretty recent, with the first case going on trial only in 2018. The first lawsuit against Monsanto’s Roundup was brought to court and fought in August 2018, when Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, came forward to claim that using Roundup weed killer for years in the gardens and grounds of the school had caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The groundskeeper and his attorney were successful, and the San Francisco jury ruled in their favor, awarding Johnson $289 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

Edwin Hardeman v Monsanto

Edwin Hardeman was the second person to go to trial against Monsanto, and the first in a U.S. Federal Court, accusing Roundup of causing his cancer. The jury, in a unanimous decision, awarded $80 million in damages to Edwin Hardeman.

Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod v Monsanto

The third case was filed by Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod, an elderly couple, in 2019. Both of them had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and the jury awarded over $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages to Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod for the disease that both of them contracted, as a result of Roundup exposure.

Since then, thousands of cases have come to light, where former users who were exposed to Roundup have been diagnosed with the disease. These people allege that Monsanto failed to warn them of the potential risks associated with using Roundup weed killer. About 18,000 cases await trial in state and federal courts today, of similar victims awaiting justice.

Despite the thousands of cases pouring in every day all across the United States, Monsanto still refuses to acknowledge that glyphosate is a carcinogen. In fact, Monsanto went ahead and filed a lawsuit arguing against California’s decision to list glyphosate as a carcinogen. The court rejected the case.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to File a Roundup Lawsuit

At Frankl & Kominsky, our injury attorneys have recovered more than $75 million in accident and injury settlements. If you or any of your loved ones have been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of being exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup Weed Killer, we can try to help you recover compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and special damages. 

Frankl & Kominsky offers a free initial consultation where our lawyers assess your case and will offer guidance and advice with regards to your claim. We also have a contingency fee arrangement, where you won’t have to pay our personal injury lawyers anything unless the case outcome is in your favor, making affordable legal assistance available to many. For a free case evaluation, you should contact us by dialing 855-800-8000 today.

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