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Glyphosate is a widely used non-selective herbicide in agriculture. In the last eight years, glyphosate in Roundup has been linked to many severe health problems, such as cancer. 

Many people have sued Bayer, a Roundup manufacturer, and most Roundup and glyphosate cancer lawsuits have already been settled. 

However, there is still time for future lawsuits, and you may hire a recognized law firm like Schmidt & Clark, LLP, to represent you.

Quick Summary

  • Roundup is one of the most used weed killers in America’s agriculture.
  • Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Bayer, a German pharmaceutical company.
  • After many losses, Bayer won its first Roundup cancer lawsuit in 2021.
  • Roundup is still being sold because it has never been the subject of a widespread recall.
  • Glyphosate and Roundup exposure has been scientifically linked to cancer development.

What Is Roundup?

A farmer spraying herbicide with the Roundup logo at the foreground of the image

Roundup is a systematic, broad-spectrum herbicide. Its primary active ingredient, glyphosate, is a non-selective herbicide primarily used for killing and controlling broadleaf weeds and grasses.

Roundup is one of the most used weed-killing products in the U.S. Its active ingredient, glyphosate, is a specific vegetation-killing chemical that works on a non-selective basis. 

This means it doesn’t kill any particular kind of plant but everything it comes into contact with [1]. With this in mind, most Roundup weed killer products contain at least 41% glyphosate.

Related Article: Glyphosate Lawsuit Update (2023)

A Brief History of Roundup

A farmer looking at week with the Roundup logo at the top left of the imageGlyphosate was a primary herbicide used for killing and controlling weeds in the 20th century. However, because glyphosate works on a non-selective basis, scientists began to work on formulating a more potent herbicide that doesn’t kill every plant it comes into contact with. 

In the 1970s, Monsanto, an American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company, started manufacturing Roundup.

Roundup’s popularity began to take off in 1996 when it became one of the most used herbicides in America. This was when Monsanto started marketing specific genetically modified seeds for glyphosate resistance. 

These GMO seeds enabled Roundup to be sprayed on and around crops, plants, weeds, and flowers without damaging them.

Roundup quickly became a favorite product of groundskeepers, farmers, and gardeners who, at that time, didn’t notice any side effects or severe health problems from its exposure [2]. 

On September 14, 2016, a German pharmaceutical company called Bayer bought Monsanto for $66 billion and its rights to start manufacturing weed killer Roundup.

In addition, Bayer also inherited all of Monsanto’s legal problems related to Roundup exposure. Today, more than a thousand lawsuits have been filed and settled. 

Roundup Cancer Lawsuits

Two lawyers looking at roundup cancer lawsuitsThousands of lawsuits have linked Roundup to the development of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

All Roundup cancer lawsuits had already been filed when Bayer bought Monsanto in 2016. Even though Monsanto doesn’t exist legally anymore, its name still lives in court filings related to Roundup litigation. 

Dewayne Johnson, the 46-year-old groundskeeper, won the first Roundup cancer lawsuit [3]. His attorneys argued that he developed cancer(non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) after exposure to Roundup on the job.

In addition, they alleged scientific proof and connection between Roundup and cancer development. 

The jury dismissed a link between Roundup use and the development of cancer. However, the jury found that Bayer had failed to warn Dewayne Johnson of the potential risks of getting exposed to Roundup.

The company was ordered to pay $289 million in damages, but the award was twice reduced to $20.5 million on appeal. 

Following Johnson’s case, two more Roundup cancer lawsuits ended in plaintiffs’ winning:

  1. In May 2019, Bayer was ordered to pay up to $2 billion in punitive damages. The lawsuit was filed, but the couple developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup for over thirty years. In addition, the couple was awarded $55 million in compensatory damages. However, the award was reduced to $86.7 million in the following months. This was due to the supreme court concluding that the original judgment was out of step regarding legal precedent. 
  2. In March 2019, a plaintiff was awarded $80 million in federal appeals court due to using Roundup in his yard for over twenty-five years before developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

December 2021 was the year Bayer won its first Roundup cancer lawsuit [4]. The jury held Bayer wasn’t responsible for the child’s development of Burkitt’s lymphoma. This was because household use of Roundup wasn’t adequately linked to the child’s illness.

Furthermore, in December 2012, Bayer won its second Roundup lawsuit when the jury concluded that the plaintiff didn’t develop cancer due to exposure to Roundup. The Roundup trial occurred online, and the plaintiff’s attorney submitted an appeal for a retrial in more favorable circumstances. 

In many states, Roundup cancer lawsuits have been settled. However, the largest settlement or consolidation of Roundup claims is the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) action. MDL includes thousands of lawsuits and is handled by Judge Vince Chhabria.

Is Roundup Still Being Sold?

A lawyer looking at roundup sales on a laptopYes, Roundup is still being sold. This product still hasn’t been subject to widespread recall.

Roundup is still present on store shelves nationwide. In addition, there hasn’t been any mention of cancer risk on Roundup labels. 

In 2017, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment(OEHHA) listed glyphosate as a cancer-causing product [5]. However, in July 2020, a federal court judge in California prevented officials from requiring a safety warning on the Roundup label. 

The name of the warning was “Prop 65.” Prop 65 warning is a part of the 1986 state ballot initiative that required all California businesses to provide safety warnings on products that cause congenital disabilities and cancer [6]. 

Until this day, there aren’t any mentions of cancer risk on the Roundup label.

However, there are iterations of Roundup warning that state:

  • Anyone using Roundup must wear long pants, long sleeves, socks, and shoes.
  • Avoid breathing spray mist or vapor.
  • You should wash your hands after using the product and before drinking, eating, chewing gum, or using the bathroom or tobacco.
  • If your clothing gets exposed to the Roundup, remove it and wash it thoroughly.
  • Clothing that has become soaked or drenched with concentrated liquid should be discarded and never reused.

In July 2021, Bayer stated that the company would stop manufacturing Roundup with glyphosate. In addition, Bayer noted that the new formulation would use alternative active ingredients approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA).  

Can You Sue an Employer for Roundup Exposure?

Yes, you can sue an employer for Roundup exposure. The employer must be liable for an employee’s illness due to on-the-job use of Roundup or glyphosate-based products.

In addition, you may sue your employer if your job place lacks proper safety equipment (defects in the equipment count also). 

You must link safety equipment defects with direct contact with glyphosate or a more significant glyphosate exposure. However, you might not be eligible to sue your employer if you have accepted workers’ compensation benefits or if you are still working for the employer. 

Remember that the place you want to file your lawsuit can vary if your lawsuit involves a defendant other than Bayer. Many Roundup suits were removed from MDL and remanded to the state court because of that.

Lastly, most of those Roundup weed killer lawsuits will proceed as individual cases in the plaintiff’s state.

Glyphosate(Roundup) Side Effects

A doctor explaining the side effects of glyphosate roundup to a patient

Some of the ways to get in contact with glyphosate are by touching, swallowing, or inhaling the chemical [7].

Short-term side effects of glyphosate and pesticide residues are:

  • Skin irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Throat/nose irritation
  • Burns in the throat/mouth
  • Increased saliva
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

The severity of side effects is based on how individuals were exposed to the weed killer. Also, the duration of exposure plays a significant role too. 

Some of the more serious side effects are:

The primary reason glyphosate is bad for human health is its content of formulants. The most dangerous formulant is POEA, a petroleum-based oxidized molecule. 

In one of the studies, scientists concluded that exposing human cells to the components of glyphosate formulations is toxic and bad for human health [8]. Also, in the same study, scientists identified heavy metals such as chromium, arsenic, and cobalt, which are known to be toxic to humans and their endocrine system. 

“No matter how you look at it, there is more than enough evidence of carcinogenicity, and this evidence meets the criteria to classify glyphosate as a substance presumed to have carcinogenic potential for humans.”
Prof. Christopher Portier, Expert in the Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Environmental Health Data with a Focus on Carcinogenicity

Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?

A doctor looking at the relation of glyphosate and cancerGlyphosate likely causes cancer. This is because exposing yourself to glyphosate-based herbicides or glyphosate residues increases the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The European Food Safety Authority agree that there is no sufficient evidence to support the claim that glyphosate residues cause cancer in humans. Also, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) approved glyphosate use until 15 December 2022.

However, The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer disagrees. 

In 2015, they stated that glyphosate is probably a human carcinogen. In 2019, researchers from The University of Washington concluded that glyphosate use increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by more than 40% [9]

Reason for the Recall

The main reason to initiate a glyphosate recall is that it is bad for human health and linked to cancer. One of the most popular weed killers, Roundup, contains large percentages of glyphosate.

Roundup and glyphosate have been linked to cancer types such as:

Over a thousand lawsuits have been filed against Bayer, a German pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. Lawsuits against Bayer tried to prove a connection between the exposure of Roundup and the development of the NHL. 

In addition, a large corpus of studies in the last eight years has shown that high exposure to glyphosate increases the risk of developing different forms of cancer.

Burden of Proof

A lawyer reading about the burden of proof on a law book

If you are experiencing health problems because of the glyphosate in Roundup, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturing company.

Glyphosate may be responsible for your illness or a loved one’s death due to the failure to warn customers of a known risk.

To hold a Roundup company liable for your damages, you must gather sufficient evidence to prove three key elements:

  1. You will need to prove that the product you used contained a defect. This can be a defect in its makeup, design, manufacture, distribution, or marketing. Roundup might be dangerous if the company fails to place proper warnings on the product’s container. Therefore, any of the chemical’s potential effects must be visible.
  2. You must prove that the defective drug, in this case, Roundup, is the main cause of your injury or illness. Your attorney must establish a causal link between the defective medication and the health complication in question. Essentially, you must gather all documents that prove Roundup is the main cause of your illness.
  3. Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages from using Roundup. You must have proof of compensable damages related to the product, such as bills or wrongful death. Your attorney can inform you of the damages you may qualify for and help gather the necessary evidence to prove them.

Average Roundup Settlement

The average Roundup settlement lawsuit is anywhere between $5,000 and $250,000 in compensation. 

However, every Bayer roundup case is different. The severity of related illnesses heavily influences the compensation rate, and the extent of the exposure also plays a major factor.

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FAQs

What Cancers Qualify for Roundup Lawsuit?

Cancer that qualifies for Roundup lawsuit is Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Most of the people who were significantly and continually exposed to Roundup developed this form of cancer.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Roundup Settlement Check?

It takes one month to get a Roundup settlement check, assuming you submitted the release form to the insurance company.

Do You Have to Pay Taxes on a Roundup Lawsuit?

No, you don’t have to pay taxes on a Roundup lawsuit. This is because personal injury lawsuit settlements are not taxable as income.

Do You Have a Roundup Claim?

Glyphosate and Roundup exposure have been scientifically linked to numerous side effects and health problems. 

Even though most Roundup cancer lawsuits are already settled, you still have time to file a Roundup claim if the case meets certain criteria.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia after exposure to Roundup, book a free lawsuit evaluation with Schmidt & Clark, LLP Roundup Lawyer/Attorney. 


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602795/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7020467/
  3. https://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/the-passionate-eye/he-was-drenched-in-a-weed-killer-made-by-monsanto-in-a-workplace-accident-then-he-was-diagnosed-with-cancer-1.6581275
  4. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/bayer-wins-its-first-roundup-jury-verdict-case-childs-cancer-2021-10-05/
  5. https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/chemicals/glyphosate
  6. https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/fact-sheets/glyphosate-and-proposition-65-frequently-asked-questions
  7. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphogen.html
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29321978/
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1383574218300887

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