SAN DIEGO – Sept. 1, 2018—A jury in California awarded a man $289 million last month after finding his exposure to the weed killer Roundup had caused his rare form of cancer. Roundup maker Monsanto Corporation has vowed to appeal the verdict, handed down in California’s Northern District on Aug. 10.
Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after decades of exposure
to glyphosate, the potent chemical used in Roundup. Johnson suffers from painful skin lesions caused by his cancer, a symptom of years of coming into contact with the popular herbicide.
Johnson said he never would have used the product had he known what he knows now about Roundup. According to The Guardian, Johnson said, “I would’ve never sprayed that product on school grounds … if I knew it would cause harm … It’s unethical.”
Roundup is one of the most popular weed killers in the United States, used by millions of Americans at home, as well as workers in agricultural, municipal, and other fields that spray Roundup to control weeds.
The herbicide was first introduced in the 1970s, but its use became more widespread in 1996 when Monsanto introduced Roundup Ready seeds. Farm fields growing crops like soybeans, wheat, and corn quickly became infiltrated with Monsanto seeds that were genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup. Farmers could spray the weed killer at will without worrying about the effect on their valuable crops. Roundup kills weeds, not Roundup Ready crops.
Decades later, glyphosate is turning up in our air, water, soil, and even food. Its use has increased tenfold in the past 20 years, and laboratory tests have found glyphosate in popular cereals like Cheerios, and other foods.
Scientists and regulating organizations have been warning about the dangers of Roundup for several years. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)—part of the World Health Organization—determined glyphosate was “probably cancerous to humans.” The Aug. 10 verdict was another clear indication that exposure to glyphosate in Roundup can cause cancer.
Roundup has been linked specifically to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a rare type of blood cancer that begins in the body’s lymphatic system—part of the circulatory system and an important part of the immune system. The survival rate for NHL depends on the type and stage of cancer, but the estimated five-year survival rate is about 71 percent.
Johnson was diagnosed with an especially aggressive form of NHL, and his doctors testified in court that they do not expect him to live past 2020. The 46-year-old father of three was awarded $39 million in past and future losses, and $250 million in punitive damages—a figure that slapped Monsanto and its parent company Bayer, with the liability of failing to warn about the potential dangers of its product.
As part of its verdict, the jury answered three questions regarding Monsanto’s responsibility in the case and the safety of Roundup:
“Did Monsanto know or should reasonably have known that users would not realize the danger?”
“Did Monsanto fail to adequately warn of the danger?”
“Was Monsanto’s failure to warn a substantial factor in causing harm to Johnson?”
According to USA Today, the jury’s response to each question was, “Yes.’’
Now, Monsanto is liable to pay for its apparent negligence in failing to warn about the safety of its product and the potential dangers of long-term exposure. Monsanto is not the only company responsible for the multi-million verdict: German pharmaceutical giant Bayer is now on the hook after acquiring Monsanto in a billion-dollar deal finalized in April 2018.
In addition to the case in California, Monsanto faces thousands of similar lawsuits around the country. At least 500 more are pending in the Northern District of California, and well over 4,000 are pending in courts across the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Roundup lawsuits allege Monsanto designed a defective product and failed to warn about its risks. Lawyers and attorneys are actively filing cases on behalf of claimants nationwide.
Attorney Martin Schmidt, of Schmidt National Law Group, has been in the fight against Monsanto and its weed killer Roundup for years, helping those affected and their families seek compensation for the pain and suffering they’ve endured at the hands of corporate greed.
“It’s clear that the risk of Roundup as a weed killer outweighs any benefit, especially since now Roundup is so pervasive it’s found in cereals that parents feed to their children,” says Attorney Schmidt.
If you were exposed to Roundup and later developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma or other types of cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call Schmidt National Law Group today at 1-800-631-5656 to see if you qualify for a Roundup Lawsuit, or visit nationalinjuryadvocates.com to file a claim now.