In the last year, two plaintiffs have been awarded damages in highly publicized product liability lawsuits related to Roundup, a weed killer made from glyphosate, a carcinogenic compound. These two lawsuits are just the latest in an ongoing controversy over the safety of commercial weed killers. The cases have had far-reaching results. For example, the stock prices for Bayer, the company that currently owns Roundup, declined sharply after it acquired the controversial product. Costco, once a major distributor of Roundup, stopped selling it in the aftermath of the lawsuits. Meanwhile, France has banned the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides outright. If exposure to Roundup in the course of your work has harmed your health, contact a product liability lawyer for advice.
Why is Roundup So Dangerous?
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is highly effective at killing weeds, but it is also carcinogenic. The research published in the first years after glyphosate became commercially available in the 1970s concluded that the compound is unlikely to cause cancer through the level of exposure associated with home gardening. In fact, some people have experienced only minor symptoms even after knowingly drinking an entire glass of Roundup. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, declared glyphosate “probably carcinogenic,” and since then, more than 300 people have filed personal injury lawsuits related to Roundup.
The Johnson Lawsuit
DeWayne Johnson routinely used Roundup in his work as a school groundskeeper, and he developed terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma while in his 40s. Johnson filed a product liability lawsuit against Monsanto, the company that owned Roundup until 2018, alleging that the company failed to warn consumers about the cancer risks associated with the herbicide. In August 2018, a court in California ordered Monsanto to pay $289 in damages, most of which were punitive damages; the amount was later reduced to $75 million. Despite that the settlement money will allow Johnson to undergo state-of-the-art cancer treatments, he is unlikely to reach his 50th birthday.
The Hardeman Lawsuit
In March 2019, Edwin Hardeman, 70, received a verdict from a California court in his Roundup-related lawsuit. The court awarded $5 million in compensation to Bayer, the company that owns Roundup, and also ordered Bayer to pay $75 million in punitive damages. Hardeman alleged that exposure to Roundup caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. According to the Chicago Tribune, this verdict will likely influence Bayer to settle with other plaintiffs bringing claims about Roundup, rather than going to trial and risking hefty punitive damages. As of 2019, at least 300 other lawsuits are pending from plaintiffs who claim that their cancer is due to exposure to Roundup.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Product Liability Cases
Product liability laws are designed to protect consumers from dangerous products; if your exposure to a dangerous product happened at work, you may have an even stronger case. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to discuss your case.