Roundup Lawsuit Updates, News, and Information
Roundup Lawsuit Updates & News | March 2024
The Roundup litigation has been a significant topic in the news due to the substantial payouts and settlements associated with these cases. Some of the most recent and notable developments are:
The Roundup MDL saw an addition of 26 new cases over the last month, marking the largest monthly increase in the past six months.
Bayer AG is grappling with escalating pressure to revise its legal approach as U.S. jury verdicts against its Roundup weedkiller surpass $4 billion in just three months. The latest defeat, a $2.25 billion Pennsylvania jury award, has intensified concerns over Bayer's ability to manage over 50,000 pending U.S. claims alleging that Monsanto, a Bayer unit, concealed Roundup's cancer risks. With approximately $10 billion of its $16 billion reserve already spent on settlements, doubts loom about the sufficiency of Bayer's financial provisions for this litigation. The situation challenges Bayer to find a viable strategy amidst the potential for future high-cost verdicts, underscoring the urgent need for a new legal plan to address the ongoing Roundup lawsuits effectively.
In a series of 2023 verdicts, Bayer faced significant legal setbacks with a Pennsylvania jury awarding a staggering $2.25 billion in the McKivision case, marking one of the largest judgments against the company's Roundup weedkiller.
The jury in the McKvision trial awarded a staggering $2.25 billion verdict. Bayer now faces the challenge of finding additional billions to settle these lawsuits and avoid potential bankruptcy.
The focus is on the ongoing McKivisoin trial, with high hopes for a verdict. Bayer/Monsanto has settled approximately 80% of filed Roundup lawsuits, with some non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) victims already receiving settlement checks.
Recent trends in the Roundup cancer litigation reveal a shift from federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) to state courts, impacting the case dynamics. Key updates include:
- Reduced MDL Activity: The Roundup MDL has seen a minimal increase in new cases, with only 3 added over the last month.
- Current Case Count: Approximately 4,200 cases are currently pending in the Roundup MDL.
The plaintiffs' recent winning streak in Roundup lawsuits came to an end last Friday with a defense verdict in a California case. While not every Roundup lawsuit results in a victory for plaintiffs, optimism remains high as trials are set to resume in January.
Updated Roundup Verdict Scorecard:
Jones (California): Defense Verdict
Martel (Pennsylvania): $3,462,500
Anderson/Draeger/Gunther (Missouri): $1,561,100,100
Dennis (California): $332,000,000
Caranci (Pennsylvania): $175,000,000
Durnell (Missouri): $1,250,000
McCostlin (Missouri): Defense Verdict
Gordon (Missouri): Defense Verdict
Ferro (Missouri): Defense Verdict
Alesi (Missouri): Defense Verdict
Johnson (Oregon): Defense Verdict
Shelton (Missouri): Defense Verdict
Stephens (California): Defense Verdict
Clark (California): Defense Verdict
Hardeman (MDL): $80,200,000
Pilliod (California): $2,055,000,000
Johnson (California): $289,200,000
The scorecard reflects the mixed outcomes in these cases and the complexities of such litigation. As we anticipate adding more verdicts next year, efforts will be made to enhance the clarity and readability of this chart for better understanding and tracking of the ongoing legal battles.
In the federal court system, the Roundup class action Multi-District Litigation (MDL) continues with just over 4,000 pending cases. The majority of these cases have largely remained stationary within the MDL for the past several years, indicating a prolonged period of inactivity in the legal process.
In the ongoing Jones v. Monsanto trial in California, Monsanto engaged in a pre-trial legal strategy, attempting to have Judge Patrick Palacios recused from the non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) Roundup case. Monsanto's argument for disqualification was based on the assertion that Judge Palacios wasn’t the designated “all-purpose” judge, citing his suggestion to appoint a temporary or visiting judge for the trial as per San Benito County Superior Court's practice for lengthy trials.
This argument was, however, swiftly addressed by the appellate court, which corrected Monsanto's contention, paving the way for the trial to proceed. This move is seen as part of Monsanto's ongoing narrative of facing unfair treatment in legal proceedings.
Once again, Monsanto has been found responsible by a jury. In a recent Philadelphia case, the company was ordered to pay over $3.4 million to a woman with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), with the jury attributing her cancer to Roundup exposure. This decision by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is Monsanto's fifth successive defeat in such cases.
In their verdict, the jury concluded that Monsanto's conduct was not only negligent but also reprehensible. They awarded $462,500 in compensatory damages and a significant $3 million in punitive damages. Monsanto's defense, which claimed the plaintiff's NHL was due to her smoking, was unequivocally rejected.
Updated Roundup Verdict Scorecard:
- Martel (Pennsylvania): $3,462,500
- Anderson/Draeger/Gunther (Missouri): $1,561,100,100
- Dennis (California): $332,000,000
- Caranci (Pennsylvania): $175,000,000
- Durnell (Missouri): $1,250,000
- McCostlin (Missouri): Defense Verdict
- Gordon (Missouri): Defense Verdict
- Ferro (Missouri): Defense Verdict
- Alesi (Missouri): Defense Verdict
- Johnson (Oregon): Defense Verdict
- Shelton (Missouri): Defense Verdict
- Stephens (California): Defense Verdict
- Clark (California): Defense Verdict
- Hardeman (MDL): $80,200,000
- Pilliod (California): $2,055,000,000
- Johnson (California): $289,200,000
In a remarkable verdict on Friday, a Missouri state court in Jefferson City ordered a massive $1.561 billion award in a Roundup case. Plaintiffs James Draeger, Valorie Gunther, and Dan Anderson were awarded a total of $61.1 million in actual damages, along with a staggering $500 million each in punitive damages. The jury sided with the plaintiffs, who claimed that prolonged use of Roundup in their lawns and gardens led to the development of their non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
The Roundup litigation has seen varied outcomes in recent years. In 2023, significant plaintiff victories were recorded in California ($332 million in the Dennis case) and Pennsylvania ($175 million in the Caranci case), alongside a $1.25 million verdict in Missouri (Durnell). However, defense verdicts prevailed in several other cases, including three in Missouri in 2023 and four in 2022.
Notably, earlier years witnessed large plaintiff awards, such as $80.2 million in the 2019 Hardeman MDL case, and a massive $2.055 billion in the 2019 Pilliod case in California. The trend of substantial plaintiff victories began with the 2018 Johnson case in California, resulting in a $289.2 million award. Despite these large awards for plaintiffs, the number of defense verdicts highlights the unpredictability and varied outcomes in Roundup trials.
Following Bayer AG's third-quarter financial report, a key message emerged from their call with journalists: the company is not prepared to make substantial settlement offers at this juncture. CFO Wolfgang Nickl conveyed to the media, "We're not looking to issue large settlements, especially at a time of limited free cash flow."
Adding to this stance, CEO Bill Anderson voiced his dissatisfaction with Bayer's 2023 financial performance, pointing out a critical "zero cash flow" situation. This financial predicament, coupled with a reluctance to offer reasonable compensation to victims, signals a concerning phase for Bayer. The company's current approach could potentially lead to more profound corporate challenges if not addressed with urgency and responsibility.
Monsanto is actively contesting the hefty $175 million verdict delivered in Philadelphia. The company argues that the court improperly influenced the jury's decision-making in a deadlock situation during a case that accused Monsanto of failing to warn consumers about the carcinogenic risks of its Roundup product. Monsanto's contention revolves around the court allegedly exerting pressure on the jury to reach a unanimous decision without informing the involved parties.
However, labeling this as coercion might be an overreach. Judges typically have considerable discretion in guiding juries towards continued deliberations in instances of deadlock. Monsanto’s challenge to the verdict hinges on this nuanced aspect of judicial conduct and jury management.
In a landmark case, a farmworker's discrimination lawsuit against Monsanto has culminated in a settlement. The lawsuit accused Monsanto of unjustly delaying a personal injury settlement, alleging discrimination based on the worker's non-U.S. citizenship status. This action was claimed to breach section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which safeguards against discrimination in contract matters.
Under the terms of the settlement, Monsanto has committed to a significant policy change: the company will no longer consider an individual's immigration status or citizenship when finalizing any future Roundup settlement agreements. This pledge marks a step towards equitable treatment in Monsanto's contractual practices.
In a significant legal triumph, Bayer has received a favorable ruling from the Ninth Circuit, which declared the California mandate for warning labels on glyphosate products unconstitutional. This mandate was found to infringe upon the First Amendment by compelling agricultural producers to assert a viewpoint not unanimously supported by the scientific community concerning the safety of glyphosate.
The court's decision underscores the controversy within the scientific world about the potential risks of glyphosate, emphasizing that producers should not be coerced into adopting a stance not universally acknowledged by scientific experts.
Amidst the court's unified stance, one judge voiced opposition. As the industry awaits the Supreme Court's perspective, speculation arises that Monsanto might preemptively label their products with warnings prior to any Supreme Court involvement.
According to a Law.com report, legal representatives for plaintiffs in the Roundup non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) cancer cases are intensifying calls for Monsanto to resolve about 40,000 pending lawsuits across the United States. The legal teams insist that there is a strong scientific agreement on the harmful effects of the herbicide, advocating for Monsanto to halt sales and proceed with compensating affected individuals.
With the European Union's recent decision against reauthorizing glyphosate and U.S. regulatory agencies reevaluating its carcinogenic risks, Monsanto's parent company, Bayer, might be more inclined to consider settlements. Additionally, the recent financial blow with $500 million in verdicts within a single week could significantly influence Bayer's approach to resolving these claims.
Yesterday, anticipation reached a peak as the jury in the Dennis case in San Diego went into deliberation. The legal community and plaintiffs closely followed the developments, hoping for a third consecutive win in this pivotal litigation series.
In a groundbreaking decision today, the jury in the Dennis case concluded their deliberations, awarding a monumental sum of $332 million. The breakdown of this sum reveals a profound statement by the jury: $325 million in punitive damages and $7 million in compensatory damages. This verdict not only marks a historic moment in the Dennis litigation but significantly reshapes the entire landscape of these cases. With this latest judgment, expectations for settlement amounts in related litigations are now scaling new heights, heralding a potentially transformative phase in these ongoing legal battles.
Philadelphia jury delivered a substantial verdict in the Caranci case, awarding $175 million. This amount breaks down to $25 million for compensation and a staggering $150 million in punitive damages. More details will follow as we gather more information.
This verdict marks a pivotal moment. As we've previously emphasized, this trial had the potential to be transformative – and it has indeed proven to be. The case revolved around an 82-year-old man diagnosed with NHL almost two decades ago, without any particularly unique circumstances.
In the ongoing Dennis trial taking place in San Diego, a pivotal contention raised by the plaintiffs' attorneys revolves around the EPA's 2022 decision to backtrack on its initial assertion that glyphosate, an ingredient in the Roundup herbicide, does not pose cancer risks to humans.
This change in stance stems from a June 2022 verdict by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court determined that the EPA failed to adequately assess the potential carcinogenic risks of glyphosate. Consequently, the FDA rescinded its initial position and committed to a more in-depth evaluation of glyphosate's safety. This development significantly challenges Monsanto's longstanding defense strategy of leaning on the EPA's endorsement. While Monsanto is anticipated to continue emphasizing the EPA's earlier support, the focus of the plaintiffs' attorneys on this shift in regulatory stance will undoubtedly intensify the debate in the San Diego courtroom.
A St. Louis jury recently mandated a $1.25 million award to a 67-year-old plaintiff, concluding that Monsanto failed to adequately disclose the potential hazards of its Roundup product, which the plaintiff blamed for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This trial, diverging from predecessors that narrowly scrutinized glyphosate's carcinogenicity, employed a refreshed legal approach. Plaintiff's attorneys argued that cancer links extend beyond glyphosate to multiple Roundup components. This groundbreaking verdict disrupts Monsanto's prior streak of nine straight defense wins in Roundup trials and reinvigorates the momentum for plaintiffs. Despite a series of past defeats, the optimism surrounding these cases persisted, now further buoyed by this outcome, potentially compelling Bayer to consider fairer compensation in upcoming settlements.
Despite a series of recent defense verdicts for Monsanto (now Bayer) in various state courts, including a triumph in St. Louis merely a fortnight ago, the tide might be turning as a new Roundup trial commences in Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas. Plaintiffs are hopeful for a reversal in their fortunes in what will be the inaugural Roundup litigation in Philadelphia, noted for being among the nation's most plaintiff-friendly venues. The jury selection kicked off last week in the landmark case, Caranci v. Monsanto, et al., setting the stage for a potentially pivotal battle in Roundup-related proceedings.
The role of glyphosate in causing cancer is under judicial scrutiny in Australia's ongoing case against Monsanto, a legal frontier that, while distinct from the U.S. system, might indirectly influence Roundup litigations stateside. This class action encompasses claims from over 800 Australians, asserting that exposure to Roundup, a glyphosate-infused herbicide, from July 1976 to July 2022, culminated in their diagnoses of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Presiding in Melbourne's federal court, Justice Michael Lee oversees this bench trial, reflecting the structure of analogous international legal contests. The case's initial focus dwells on the general causation—specifically, whether glyphosate is a catalyst for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This segment of the trial is slated for completion by October 31. Meanwhile, Monsanto maintains the safety of its glyphosate-based products, citing comprehensive testing and adherence to usage guidelines, while suggesting alternative causes behind the plaintiffs' health conditions.
a jury in San Francisco awarded a total of $550 million in punitive damages to a couple who claimed that their prolonged exposure to Roundup resulted in them both developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Bayer announced a $2 billion plan to resolve future Roundup lawsuits. This resolution plan aims to address the potential future claims from Roundup users who may develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Bayer AG, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, announced that they had settled approximately 96,000 Roundup lawsuits in the United States for a total cost of about $11 billion.
These recent news stories highlight the ongoing nature of the Roundup lawsuit and its substantial impact on Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer AG. The high payouts and settlements underline the serious health risks associated with Roundup and the corporate negligence in failing to adequately warn users about these risks.
At Consumer Shield, we keep abreast of all the latest developments in the Roundup lawsuits to ensure we provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive advice to our clients. If you or a loved one has been affected by Roundup, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process.
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The Roundup MDL saw an addition of 26 new cases over the last month, marking the largest monthly increase in the past six months.