Roundup Cancer Lawsuits Prompt $10 Billion Plus Settlement from Bayer
Gardeners, farmworkers, and groundskeepers have used the popular herbicide Roundup for decades. Recent evidence suggests many paid a heavy and sometimes fatal price. Now the weedkiller’s manufacturer, Bayer, has offered those who filed Roundup cancer lawsuits a settlement of over $10 billion.
Bayer announced it will pay more than $10 billion to end tens of thousands of lawsuits filed over the Roundup weedkiller. The settlement resolves many other cases brought over the herbicide dicamba as well as water contaminated with toxic chemicals called PCBs, NPR reported.
Many of those suing the giant chemical company say Roundup’s active ingredient — glyphosate — caused them to develop a form of cancer called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Roundup was developed by Monsanto, a company Bayer bought in 2018. Monsanto developed and patented the use of glyphosate as a weed killer in the early 1970s and first brought it to market in 1974.
It became popular with farmers and gardeners over the next few decades. However, studies linked glyphosate to cancer, sparking thousands of lawsuits against Roundup’s maker. Roundup users who contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma started suing Monsanto in the wake of a 2015 World Health Organization report suggesting glyphosate might cause cancer.
Monsanto has insisted that Roundup does not cause cancer claiming The WHO report is contradicted by several other studies. The Environmental Protection Agency has given Roundup the green light. However, critics point to a “cozy relationship” between Monsanto and the EPA, CNN reported.
In a statement issued by Bayer last week, the company said the settlement of the Roundup cases in the US will bring closure to about three-quarters of the lawsuits involving about 125,000 filed and unfiled claims. Bayer said it will pay $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to settle the current Roundup litigation, including an allowance to cover unresolved claims. It will pay $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation.
Only three of the thousands of cases filed against Bayer have been heard in a courtroom, resulting in big verdicts against Roundup’s manufacturer.
A jury in Alameda County, California ruled that Alva and Alberta Pilliod contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because they used Roundup. They were each awarded $1 billion in punitive damages intended to punish Bayer and an additional $55 million in compensatory damages. A judge later reduced the total award for the Pilliods to $87 million.
As well as the claims over Roundup, the agreement settles claims over dicamba. Some farmers alleged when the chemical is sprayed it drifts into neighboring fields and gardens, inflicting broad damage. The settlement reflects over $820 million in payouts over allegations that Monsanto polluted public waters with PCB chemicals (polychlorinated biphenyls).
Our Virginia injury lawyers are also concerned about the terrible health effects many plaintiffs attribute to Roundup. The weedkiller is still being sold in stores in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and elsewhere without warnings of any potential cancer links.
Just weeks ago, a federal judge issued a permanent injunction blocking efforts by the State of California to place cancer warnings on Roundup. The judge said the labels contained misleading or false information that undermined California’s interest in accurately informing its citizens of the health risks.
Forbes reported the same judge ruled two years ago that government agencies and health organizations that reviewed studies on glyphosate found there was no evidence that the chemical caused cancer.
The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit activist organization, has called for the EPA to ban all home uses of Roundup. President Ken Cook said millions of people are still being exposed to glyphosate through the food they eat, their work on farms, or as groundskeepers or in their back yards. He said a ban is the only way to protect future generations of Americans from the effects of the chemical.
Forbes notes Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in the United States. Over 300 million pounds of it is sprayed on U.S. farms every year. Bayer has no plans to discontinue the use of Roundup. However, a 2019 study suggested the dangers of glyphosate go beyond cancer. It causes food contamination and is impacting honeybees, the research suggested.
If you believe Roundup affected your health, please contact our Virginia product liability lawyers. We represent individuals who end up injured from dangerous and defective products, medical devices, and pills. Unfortunately, big companies routinely put profits above the safety of those who use their products, often with devastating results. Call us today.