Roundup Claims

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Did you or a loved one use Roundup Weed Killer for at least 2 years and minimum 10 lifetime days after 1990?(Required)
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Roundup Claims, Lawsuit & Litigation Info

Roundup has been a near-ubiquitous weed killer for years, the most popular product of its kind ever produced. There’s a good chance that almost anyone who has done yard or garden work in the past few decades has used or come in contact with it at some point. However, in the last decade, it has come to light that Roundup’s primary component chemical is potentially carcinogenic.

Numerous Roundup plaintiffs have brought successful suit against Bayer, the Roundup brand’s current owner, for compensation as a result. Those who have been diagnosed with cancer related to the use of Roundup can still bring suit today.

Blooming hyacinth and crocus in flower pots for transplanting.

The Origins of Roundup

Roundup was created by Monsanto, a major American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation founded in 1901. It was a chemical company during its first few decades — among other things developing the All detergent brand and AstroTurf — but the weed killer ultimately became Monsanto’s best-known product.

This was particularly true after the company began to shift its primary focus to biotechnology starting in the 1980s, a shift that was more or less complete by 2002. The rise of Roundup to market dominance and Monsanto’s ventures into biotechnology were, in fact, connected. The herbicide was acutely toxic, and could be counted upon to kill any plant it touched. This limited its appeal until Monsanto developed genetically modified seeds that could resist its toxicity, making it possible to grow “Roundup Ready” crops that could survive spraying while the surrounding weeds died.  

Roundup usage on American crops increased by a factor of 40 between 1992 and 2016 as a result, while Monsanto became the world’s biggest seed company. It was a key part of the overall package that Bayer AG, another major player in the agrochemical market, acquired when they eventually purchased Monsanto in 2018. The $66 billion deal placed Bayer, controversially, in control of more than a quarter of the world’s pesticide and global seed supply. Even as the deal was closed, however, legal trouble for the Roundup brand that eventually passed to Bayer’s ownership was rapidly on the rise. 

That legal trouble was owed to the major ingredient in Roundup: glyphosate. This chemical, whose toxicity made Roundup so effective, became publicly connected to both human illness and environmental damage. The first major salvo came when the International Agency for Research on Cancer published research in 2015 indicating that  glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” While this was not the first study to connect glyphosate to cancer, it was by far the most prominent to date and touched off an international uproar. The herbicide’s reputation has come under increasingly fierce attacks since, with 2018 being a major turning point.

Farmer carry spraying engine on back and spray pesticide mixed with water on tobacco tree
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When the Roundup Lawsuits Started

As the public debate raged over whether glyphosate was a significant carcinogenic risk to the public, with different regulatory agencies coming to different conclusions, litigation wasn’t long in coming. Hundreds of lawsuits were filed against Monsanto beginning in 2016, and the number of those lawsuits grew into the thousands in the years to come.

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits claimed to have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or related cancers, as a result of exposure to Roundup. They further claimed Bayer and Monsanto not only failed to warn the public about their product’s cancer risks, but had in fact been deliberately deceptive. Injuries identified in the suits included nearly 20 distinct types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma-related lymphomas in all.

Monsanto and Bayer, for their part, continued to maintain that the product was safe. However, a series of trials in California led to the revelation of internal Monsanto communications that revealed active efforts to hide Roundup’s cancer risks. These Monsanto Papers appeared to reveal improper influence-peddling and collusion with parties at regulatory agencies, including the EPA. They were also alleged to reveal the consideration or coordination of other ethically questionable practices, including executives musing about the company ghostwriting studies to give their legal position a false air of academic legitimacy.

These early trials were devastating for Bayer’s defense. The first Roundup plaintiff to reach court was awarded $289 million in damages in August 2018. A second plaintiff was awarded $75 million in March 2019, which was later reduced to $20 million. The heaviest blow, however, came with a third trial, in which the jury awarded the plaintiff a staggering $2 billion in May 2019.

By this time and shortly thereafter, there were 100,000 further Roundup claims in process. Bayer settled those outstanding claims for $10.9 billion in 2020. A subsequent attempt in 2021 to settle all potential future claims from plaintiffs who had not yet been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for another $2 billion was denied. The judge in that proceeding, Judge Vince Chhabria, concluded that this proposed sum to comprehensively address future litigation was unreasonably limited, saying as part of a six-page order:

“Bayer (which recently acquired Monsanto) is a massive, wealthy company, and it continues to make money specifically from Roundup sales. Nor is there any indication that the company will cease its efforts to settle cases. As recently as last week, Bayer stated publicly that it remains committed to settling Monsanto’s Roundup litigation. This is not surprising because the alternative to settling — continuing to lose trials left and right — is not attractive.”

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Upwards of 4,000 Roundup lawsuits are still in litigation in California alone, and some 30,000 suits are pending across the United States. And although the EPA continues to contend that Roundup cannot be directly linked to cancer — a position the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals urged them to reconsider in a 2022 ruling — other significant studies have supported a connection. The University of Washington, for instance, released a study that shows a 41% increased risk of developing NHL for those exposed to glyphosate. 

As a result, lawyers are still accepting Roundup cases. Both individual and class-action lawsuits have been filed against Bayer. There’s still the possibility in future of being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — which has a long latency period — after exposure to Roundup. That means the continued potential for more jury verdicts or settlements in the coming years. 

It’s worth noting Bayer has not always lost at trial. Since the early cases that prompted the first major settlement in 2020, the company has in fact had a string of victories in court. For those looking to file suit, it’s important to have legal representation that’s experienced with environmental law and knows how to clearly demonstrate a link between injuries to their clients and Roundup exposure.

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You could be eligible to file a Roundup cancer lawsuit if you were exposed to Roundup over a long period of time, or exposed to large quantities of the herbicide at 12 years of age or younger, and diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on or after June 1, 2018. The suit must be filed within the span of your state's statute of limitations, which would typically mean between 2 and 4 years after your diagnosis.

Roundup has been linked in studies and alleged in litigation to be connected with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. There are a number of more specific types of lymphoma that can also be qualifying cancers in a Roundup lawsuit.

The payout or settlement from a Roundup lawsuit will vary depending on the claimant's specific injuries. A rough average of $160,000 has been suggested by some, but you'll need to consult with a licensed attorney to get an accurate assessment of the potential settlement amount in your case.

A cancer diagnosis is the beginning of a long, expensive and difficult medical journey. Still, if you've received a diagnosis that you think may be related to the use of Roundup, exploring your legal options may bring much-deserved compensation. It's important to get in touch with a trusted and experienced legal team to get the process started. If you're not sure where to begin, consider Tort Defenders to find counsel.

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