On June 21, 2022, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finding that glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup products does not create a serious health risk and does not cause cancer.
The ruling was a $25 million judgment in favor of Edwin Hardeman, a California resident who says he developed cancer after using Roundup for decades on weeds, poison oak, and overgrowth on his San Francisco property.
The lawsuit adds to a series of Roundup cases against Monsanto that had started in 2015. That same year, the World Health Organization categorized glyphosate as a possible human carcinogen. Plaintiffs alleged that Monsanto (later acquired by Bayer) had failed to notify users of this categorization in 2018. The number of litigation cases grew exponentially, with nearly 100,000 lawsuits filed and 80% of them ending in settlements. About 26,000 lawsuits remain, with most of them filed in state court, and a California class action lawsuit with 4,000 claims is still pending.
In the Hardeman case ruling, the three-judge panel stated that the EPA examined studies that did show human exposure to glyphosate and that it leads to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The EPA did not follow its guidelines for assessment and relied on limited evidence of cancer in humans and more sufficient evidence of cancer in study animals. The agency will begin their reassessment and their deadline to complete the review is October 2022.
Bayer released a statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling reasserting their five-point plan to achieve closure of the glyphosate litigation. Here are the details of that plan, the changes for the company, and how Roundup will be manufactured in the future:
Bayer’s five-point plan announced in May 2021 determines the future of Roundup lawsuits. Here are some takeaways:
Regarding new Roundup claims in light of the Supreme Court decision, plaintiffs should be aware of how Bayer will be handling the litigation on a long-term basis. The $4.5 billion provision sets the precedent for settling any new cases and is meant to manage litigation risk only rather than account for safety concerns. Even though the optics are negative for Bayer, they will continue to sell Roundup and pay off new claims.
Although Bayer will be replacing glyphosate in the U.S. residential Lawn & Garden market in 2023, the products are still subject to a timely review by the EPA and state counterparts. This action eliminates the source of any future claims.
If you are filing a new claim, but you were diagnosed with NHL more than three years ago, it may be more difficult to find a Roundup lawyer due to the statute of limitations. On the other hand, if you are filing a claim, and your diagnosis is very recent, you could be subject to a higher settlement value than in older cases.
To be eligible for a claim, Monsanto has a points system in place based on the severity of injuries and the strength or merit of the claim. The points are ranked according to the following criteria:
At Serling and Abramson, we can assist and advise you on your Roundup claim so you can achieve the best possible outcome. Please fill out our free Roundup case evaluation to get started.