Monsanto and its parent company Bayer AG face thousands of lawsuits related to a possible link between the popular weed killer Round-Up and certain types of cancer. These lawsuits allege that the main ingredient in this herbicide, glyphosate, can cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma and possibly other cancers. A Monsanto Round-Up lawsuit lawyer may be able to help you file a lawsuit of your own.
Of the cases that have already gone to trial, most involved farmers, agricultural workers, or others who regularly applied glyphosate-based weed killers and later developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The plaintiffs have had significant success in this litigation, including several multi-million dollar payouts.
Newsweek reports that Glyphosate is the top-selling herbicide in the world and has been the main ingredient in Round-Up and related products since the 1970s. It is often used to kill weeds and unwanted plants. Repeated exposures are common among:
- Agricultural workers
- Maintenance workers
- Other lawn care workers
- Those who have large plots of land for personal use
- Those who produce the herbicides
So far, it appears those with repeated exposure may be most at-risk. Many people, especially those who applied the chemical as a part of their job, had regular exposure to the herbicide. Some of the plaintiffs who filed suit against Monsanto because they developed cancer used the company’s weed killer regularly for two to three decades. Because the company promoted the herbicide as safe, many did not use any protective equipment. They got it on their skin and breathed it in.
What Is the Monsanto Round-Up/Cancer Lawsuit?
As of October 2019, more than 2,000 people already have cases pending in an multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Monsanto and parent company Bayer AG over the potential dangers of Round-Up weed killer. There were enough potential plaintiffs coming forward that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agreed to combine the lawsuits into a mass tort.
The Round-Up lawsuit is now known as MDL 2741. This MDL covers all cases filed in U.S. Federal Court. By consolidating them into an MDL, the discovery, pre-trial proceedings, and the initial “bellwether” trials will occur under the oversight of Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California in San Francisco.
The cases in MDL 2741 represent:
- Plaintiffs who used Round-Up weed killer and later received a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis; or
- A family who lost a beloved member to cancer before anyone linked the cancer to the use of glyphosate-based herbicides.
In addition to the U.S. Federal Court cases pending, there are also thousands of additional cases filed in state courts across the country. Some of these have gone to trial, some have settled, and many are still pending. Based on the outcome of the first bellwether trials from the MDL and the verdicts in many cases on the state level, things look optimistic for victims of Monsanto and their Round-Up products.
These cases involved plaintiffs who regularly used glyphosate-based herbicides or had high levels of exposure and later received a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis or passed away from the condition. Multiple juries confirmed they believed the weed killer caused the blood cancer and awarded the plaintiffs multi-million dollar payouts for their damages, as well as large punitive awards.
If you believe you may qualify to pursue legal action against Monsanto and its parent company Bayer AG, we can investigate your case (cost-free unless there is a recovery) and begin looking for evidence establishing:
- You suffered glyphosate-based herbicide exposure
- Your doctor diagnosed you with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or a related condition
- Possible causative links between glyphosate and the diagnosed cancer or related condition.
We may be able to help you join MDL 2741 or pursue compensation in another way. While there is no way to know if you could receive the same type of payout as the plaintiffs in the bellwether cases, it is possible if the facts of your case are similar.
Can I File a Monsanto Round-Up/Cancer Lawsuit?
You may be eligible to take legal action against Round-Up weed killer manufacturer Monsanto and their parent company, Bayer AG, if you used this product and later developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma or a related condition. Most people who have joined the mass tort already underway had unusually frequent or high-level exposures to the herbicide, often through work. However, anyone who meets the criteria may be able to pursue compensation.
This includes anyone who used the weed killer and:
- Recently received a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis and are undergoing treatment
- Received a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis and do not currently require treatment for their condition
- Previously received a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis and continue to battle the condition
- Previously received treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and are in remission or cured
You may also qualify to file a case against Monsanto if you lost an immediate family member to non-Hodgkin lymphoma following glyphosate herbicide exposure.
Those whose cases have already gone to trial had unusually high-level exposure to these herbicides, often through their job. This includes a wide range of workers who applied the chemicals or worked in areas where they were applied, such as farmers, landscapers, and agricultural workers. Some, however, only used the weed killer on their own lawn. No matter when or how you used a glyphosate-based herbicide, it could have put you at risk.
If you ever used Round-Up or another glyphosate-based herbicide—even once—and you later received a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis, you should take action quickly to learn more about your rights. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit and pursue compensatory and possibly punitive damages.
Our team can take steps to help you today. If you qualify, our team will:
- Request copies of your relevant medical records to confirm your diagnosis
- Verify your exposure to glyphosate-based weed killer
- Calculate a value for your economic and noneconomic damages
- File a Round-Up weed killer cancer lawsuit on your behalf
We know how to navigate mass torts like MDL 2741 (Roundup Products Liability Litigation). We will help you understand what to expect and represent you throughout the process. Let us review your case for free today. Call us now at (888) 808-5977.
Who Is at Risk for Cancer/Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Related to Monsanto Roundup?
People who regularly use Monsanto Roundup and are heavily exposed to the glyphosate-based weed killer are most at risk for developing cancer/non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Typically, this high-risk group includes individuals who work in the following fields:
- Herbicide applicators
According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), no other herbicide is produced on the same scale of global volume as glyphosate. It is mostly used within the agricultural industry, and this usage has seen a dramatic increase with the introduction of genetically modified crops (GMO) that have been designed to resist glyphosate.
Other applications of glyphosate include various uses in the home, as well as in urban and forestry efforts.
Regardless of whether you are a commercial farmer spraying massive amounts of Roundup on hundreds of acres of crops or a retiree who spends your weekend mowing and spraying Roundup on your lawn, exposure to the product’s glyphosate carcinogen might cause or contribute to you developing NHL.
Exposure happens in a variety of ways, including the following:
- When you spray, the mist falls onto your skin.
- When you touch crops that are wet with the spray, it gets on your skin.
- While you are spraying, you breathe in the Roundup mist.
- When you spray, some gets into your mouth, and you accidentally swallow it.
- Some of the Roundup lands on your hands, and you eat, drink, or smoke using the still-wet hand.
Glyphosate will not typically transfer to your clothes or skin once it has already dried. Nor does it vaporize after it has settled on a surface.
With increased farming of GMO plants, also referred to as “Roundup Ready” plants, humans everywhere are enduring higher exposures to the herbicide’s carcinogenic ingredients.
The mid-2000s saw the growing popularity of a farming technique called “green burndown.” This method was developed as a means of expediting harvest operations. It involves farmers applying Roundup to their crops immediately prior to harvest. As a result, the crops are harvested and distributed with a residue of the carcinogen. The very food we consume contains glyphosate, and we are ingesting these items in the foods we eat every day, including a variety of grains and beans.
The manner in which Roundup is sprayed also means that it exists in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Although the hardest-hit areas are homes that are near sprayed areas, the potential hazard may grow in size and reach.
How Can Roundup Weed Killer Cause Cancer?
Roundup manufacturer Monsanto and its new owner Bayer have vehemently maintained that their cash-cow weed-killer does not cause cancer. But red flags were raised when the medical science community began to note a sudden and dramatic increase in the number of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) cases over the previous 30 years. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) set out to determine if any environmental or occupational factors over that time played a role in the spike.
The group’s efforts zeroed in on farmers because they had shown high rates of certain cancers. It then matched this occupation with a specific environmental variable—pesticides (which includes both insecticides and herbicides)—for two reasons:
- The spike in cancer reports began around the same time that synthetic, organic pesticides were introduced to the agricultural scene in the mid-to-late 1900s.
- Research into the incidence, distribution, and control of NHL had already concluded there was a positive link between the cancer and people who were exposed to pesticides within a manufacturing environment.
Among the pesticides studied were five organophosphate pesticides: tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate. Each pesticide was chosen based on their previous classifications as being carcinogenic to humans or the existence of some degree of evidence of carcinogenicity.
Regarding glyphosate, for example, scientists had already uncovered evidence of the herbicide’s carcinogenic nature. This evidence tied glyphosate exposure to NHL in mostly agricultural occupations. Other evidence showed that the herbicide causes cancer in mice. This last bit of evidence, in 1985, prompted the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to classify glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Ultimately, the results of IARC’s extensive research indicated a positive association between glyphosate and B-cell lymphoma. The group’s conclusions appeared in a 2014 issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. In 2015, IARC followed up their findings with its published conclusions that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.”
The Roundup research that most recently made headlines was released in 2018 by the University of Washington (UW). Scientists at the university conducted a meta-analysis of data from 2001 to 2018 and revealed its findings that agricultural workers who were heavily exposed to glyphosate had a 41 percent greater risk of developing NHL over the course of their lives than people who had never used glyphosate-based products, or who had used it very little.
What Are the Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is just one of several types of lymphoma, a cancer that involves a piece of the lymphatic system, a component in your immune system that clears out undesirable substances, like viruses, from your body.
When lymph nodes start to swell, it is the first indication that your lymphatic system is working overtime trying to get rid of things it does not think should be in your system. In the case of NHL, these unwanted substances are lymphocytes, cancer cells within the lymph nodes, that are starting to grow at an uncontrollable rate.
NHL can show itself with any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Weight loss
- Getting full after barely eating
- Cough or shortness of breath
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Pressure in the chest or chest pain
- Frequent or severe infections
The American Cancer Society reports that NHL can manifest as various forms and in different parts of the body. The type of cancer and its location dictate the type of symptoms that appear.
Swollen lymph nodes can look and feel like lumps under the skin, but close to the surface. They can show up in the underarm region, around the sides of the neck, in the groin area, or above the collar bone.
When NHL develops in the belly area, it will show up as pain or swelling in the abdomen. These symptoms result from fluid build-up, lymph nodes increasing in size, or organs like the liver or spleen growing larger. If an organ grows to the point where it presses against the stomach, it could lead to the sensation of fullness soon after eating.
Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are symptoms associated with lymphomas that are growing in the intestines or stomach.
Within the chest, when lymph nodes enlarge, they can exert pressure on the windpipe, which causes chest pain, coughing, or breathing problems. If the lymphoma starts in the superior vena cava (SVC), veins may become backed up with blood, causing a bluish-red coloration in the upper chest, arms, and head. The patient can lose consciousness if the brain is impacted. Referred to as SVC syndrome, this condition can be fatal.
Sometimes lymphomas develop in the brain, resulting in the following symptoms:
- Personality changes
- Trouble concentrating
However, if a lymphoma spreads to the brain and/or spinal cord, the following symptoms may appear:
- Speech difficulty
- Numbness of the face
- Double vision
Need for Diagnosis
Many of these symptoms might be mistaken for symptoms of multiple other medical conditions—infections, especially, will generate many of the above signs and symptoms. To properly diagnose NHL, a medical doctor needs to get involved.
How Do I Know if I Got Cancer From Monsanto Roundup Weed Killer?
Even though there are no screening tests developed for non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL), you can know if you got cancer from Monsanto Roundup weed killer through other means. If you do not show symptoms of NHL, but you have been exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer and are concerned you might be developing this cancer of the immune system, you should take extra precautions by undergoing routine medical check-ups.
As soon as you note any of the NHL symptoms described here, advise your doctor. Your physician can conduct the necessary tests and exams to determine whether you have developed the cancer and, if so, what type it is, as well as the stage of its development.
Your medical exam will, in general, move you through the following steps to know if you got cancer from Monsanto Roundup weed killer:
- The first thing your doctor will do is to thoroughly document your medical history. They will want to know about any family history and any risk factors. At this point, you should let your doctor know about your exposure to Roundup.
- Next, you will be given a physical medical exam, with an emphasis on your lymph nodes and other areas where you are experiencing symptoms. The doctor will check for infections and will likely order blood tests.
- You may receive a prescription for antibiotics, with the intent of shrinking the size of your lymph nodes.
- At the end of it all, if your lymph nodes have not shrunk or have increased in size, and your physician suspects NHL is behind your symptoms, they will probably order a biopsy.
A biopsy involves removing a portion of a lymph node so it can be tested. There are various types from which the doctor will choose:
The most common type of biopsy is an excisional (removal of the entire lymph node) or incisional (removal of a portion of the node). You will be numbed at the site of the incision if the node lies just beneath your skin. If it sits deeper within your body, you will be either sedated or put to sleep for the procedure.
Other types of biopsies include:
- Needle biopsy
- Bone marrow biopsy
- Spinal tap
- Pleural or peritoneal fluid sampling
The samples from your biopsy are sent to a lab to be studied by a pathologist, who can determine if the cells look like lymphoma.
How Long Has the Link Between Monsanto Roundup and Cancer Been Known?
Monsanto patented glyphosate as a weed killer in the 1970s. In 1974, the company proceeded to brand the herbicide as Roundup, a product that has since become the dominant herbicide worldwide. By 1982, Monsanto was developing Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) crops.
In 1985, the Toxicology Branch Ad Hoc Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), after reviewing the results of lab experiments with mice, classified glyphosate as presenting “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential”—a Class C carcinogen.
Records and documents released during multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Monsanto show that Monsanto swayed the EPA into revising the Class C classification of glyphosate. The agency later changed the classification to a Class E, a designation that merely alludes to “evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans.” The EPA also called for additional research into the glyphosate-cancer connection to clarify problematic areas.
Thirty years passed, wherein Roundup’s penetration into global agribusiness continued to spread and deepen. Monsanto as a company grew, especially after the company introduced GMO crops that could withstand the effects of the herbicide. Farmers began using the product even more liberally, spraying it over the crops and weeds, with only the weeds dying.
During this period, however, Monsanto was allegedly talking about glyphosate within the confines of its corporation. Mountains of internal emails and documents that were presented during the MDL exposed countless communications arguably proving that the company was aware of the dangers of glyphosate during this timeframe.
As reported by the New York Times in August of 2017, a Monsanto scientist stated in a 2001 email, “If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup, I know how I would react—with serious concern.” The following year yielded a communication from a Monsanto executive reading, “What I’ve been hearing from you is that this continues to be the case with these studies—Glyphosate is O.K., but the formulated product (and thus the surfactant) does the damage.” And in 2003, a Monsanto executive urged fellow executives with the following instruction: “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen…we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”
Fast forward to 2015. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had taken note of a dramatic uptick in the incidence of cancer over the course of those three decades. The group conducted a monumental study of evidence gathered on glyphosate (and other chemicals) and its impact on both humans and animals.
As a result of this effort, the IARC published its conclusion in 2015 that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” They also revealed findings that further the position that glyphosate is a carcinogen: the chemical alters human DNA and creates oxidative stress in the human body.
The Monsanto Papers show that to undermine IARC’s actions, Monsanto launched an aggressive damage-control campaign, ghostwriting white papers and articles—one which appeared in Forbes magazine; meddling with a staunch peer-review process to have an important study removed from a white paper published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, and influencing regulatory bodies on the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.
By 2018, spurred by the IARC classification, several European countries embarked on banning glyphosate.
California also added glyphosate to its list of known carcinogens, which effectively requires that all products containing the ingredient be marked with labels that warn consumers of their carcinogenicity.
Can You Sue For Cancer Caused By Monsanto Roundup?
As of November of 2019, more than 42,000 Roundup lawsuits have been filed by consumers who claimed to have developed cancer from exposure to the company’s Roundup weed killer. Legal action has been taken against Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, as well as against local distributors and dealers of the popular herbicide.
If you were exposed to Roundup, you too might be able to file a lawsuit if you have been diagnosed with any of the following:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- B- or T-cell lymphoma
- Hairy cell leukemia
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Mantle cell leukemia
- Small lymphocytic lymphoma
- Other cancers
The lawsuits against Monsanto and its new parent company Bayer rest on the arguments that Monsanto exhibited gross negligence in its use of glyphosate and in its failure to warn consumers about the cancer risks associated with using their product.
Plaintiffs in these cases carry the burden of proof on their products liability claims. Specifically, if you file a Roundup lawsuit because you developed cancer, your lawyer will typically need to prove that:
- Monsanto sells Roundup, and you used the weed killer.
- Monsanto sells Roundup commercially.
- You developed cancer after the Roundup herbicide.
- The Roundup weed killer you used was defective when Monsanto sold it.
- Roundup caused your cancer.
Your lawyer will work with you on the types of evidence that tend to prove that you used Roundup. You will also need to provide proof of your cancer diagnosis from a recognized medical practitioner.
Much of the fighting in the Roundup lawsuits revolve around the alleged defect. As the plaintiff, the burden of proof that Roundup caused your cancer rests with you. Fortunately, your lawyer can draw from reams of research establishing that glyphosate is a “probable carcinogen to humans” (as per the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s Monograph on Glyphosate) and increases the risk of NHL (41 percent) in people exposed to the weed killer.
Monsanto’s lawyers will counter your arguments with its key defensive position against your products liability claim: that Roundup’s glyphosate “defect,” to which you are attributing your cancer, is not a defect because the ingredient does not cause cancer. Correspondingly, they’ll likely argue Roundup could not have caused your cancer.
Your lawyers will work to dismantle Monsanto’s defense with truckloads of internal Monsanto documentation called the “Monsanto Papers” that appeared as the result of pretrial discovery in multidistrict litigation (MDL) against the Roundup manufacturer. Your lawyers will argue that emails from this collection show that Monsanto executives have known about the carcinogenicity of their flagship product for years.
Who Can File a Monsanto Roundup Cancer Lawsuit?
The clear, scientifically proven connection between Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, and cancer, means that any individual who has been diagnosed with cancer—especially certain types of cancer—qualify as likely candidates to receive compensation from Monsanto or parent company Bayer for the damages resulting from their diagnosis.
An individual can be exposed to Roundup in several ways:
- They can absorb Roundup through their skin.
- They can breathe it in through their mouth or nose.
- They can eat food that contained a Roundup residue.
Considering these methods of exposure, plaintiffs in a Monsanto Roundup lawsuit may emerge from any of the following pools:
- Agricultural workers
- Pesticide and herbicide applicators
- Professional gardeners
People who have used Roundup in their home landscaping efforts are just as likely to experience exposure to the extent that it causes cancer. In fact, two of the first three products liability cases to be tried against Monsanto (all of which were victorious), consisted of plaintiffs’ who were diagnosed with cancer (NHL) after using Roundup on the lawns of their private residences.
Cancers Connected to Roundup and Glyphosate
To show that they suffered bodily injury from the use of or exposure to Roundup, a potential plaintiff would need to provide a diagnosis from an accredited physician. The most acknowledged form of harm stemming from Roundup exposure is the development of cancer. The following cancers have been specifically connected with exposure to the herbicide’s main ingredient, glyphosate:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- Anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma
- Thymic lymphoma
- Mediastinal B-Cell lymphoma
- Hairy cell leukemia
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Follicular B-cell lymphoma
- Mantle cell lymphoma
- Acute T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma
- Mediastinal B-cell lymphoma
As such, an individual who has been diagnosed with one of the above cancers will likely have an easier time establishing a causal relationship between their disease and their exposure to Roundup.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Roundup’s Monsanto
In some cases, cancer is detected and diagnosed too late to treat. Surviving spouses, parents, or children of someone who died as the result of cancer they developed from exposure to Roundup may be entitled to file a wrongful death action against Monsanto. The intention of a wrongful death action is to seek compensation for the damages associated with having to live without the deceased. Among the damages considered in this compensation are the income and the emotional comfort that the deceased would have provided to their survivors.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Monsanto Roundup/Cancer Lawsuit?
Settlements and jury awards in product liability cases differ widely from one another—even among plaintiffs who are pursuing compensation from the same defendant for the same defective product. Such is the case for Monsanto Roundup cancer lawsuits. Several factors play into how each case is valuated.
If you want to determine the potential value of your case, you may want to enlist the help of a product liability lawyer who can review your medical expenses, income, and other numbers in the context of a settlement or jury award.
To give you an idea of the types of variables that your lawyer will use to estimate the value of your Roundup cancer case, consider the following factors:
Your Injuries: Most Roundup cases involve plaintiffs who have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) or another form of cancer from their exposure to Monsanto’s weed killer. The type of cancer will result in specific medical expenses for which Monsanto should bear the cost, regardless of whether it has spread or caused other complications. Your lawyer will likely call in medical experts who can speak to your prognosis, so that the costs of ongoing or future treatments will be included in your settlement or jury award.
Lost Income/Wages: As someone who is struggling with cancer, you have most likely missed days at work while you receive treatment—or on days when you feel especially tired or ill. Monsanto should be accountable for the income you have lost as a result of missing these workdays.
Eventually, you may decide it is time to stop working altogether, as the symptoms of your illness make the work too strenuous. In this case, your lawyer will refer to your wage statements and benefits package and ask an expert economist and/or vocational therapist to write their opinions on the value of your lost future earnings or diminished future earnings potential.
Pain and Suffering: Your physical pain and discomfort and your mental suffering of anxiety, anguish, and distress are recoverable as damages in your Roundup case. Typically, pain and suffering is calculated using either the per diem method or the multiplier method.
With the per diem method, your suffering is assigned a daily value. This number is multiplied by the number of days you experience pain and suffering—past and future.
With the multiplier method, your total medical expenses, lost wages (past and future), and other losses are multiplied by some set number (often from 1.5 to 4 but could be more or less depending on the case).
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are amounts awarded by a jury to punish the defendant in cases that go to trial. They go beyond the standard damages of medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.
Roundup juries to date have awarded generous punitive damages to plaintiffs.
Pending Lawsuits Against Monsanto
According to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, as of October 2019, 2,235 actions are pending against Monsanto in multidistrict litigation (MDL), although there are thousands more in other courts across the county. If you used Round-Up or another glyphosate-based weed killer and later developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you may be eligible to join this MDL, to file an individual state court lawsuit against Bayer AG and Monsanto or take other legal action.
Reach out to a Monsanto Round-Up lawsuit lawyer from Newsome Melton today to learn more about your legal options. We will review your case for free and help you understand the strength of your case.
Our legal team handles all cases on contingency. You owe us nothing unless we recover a payout for you and your family. Call (888) 808-5977 now to schedule your free initial consultation with a member of our team.