People have filed more than 18,000 lawsuits against the manufacturers of Roundup weed killer claiming that the popular herbicide—commonly used on lawns, on farms, and around workplaces—causes cancer. The news is frightening. You may have questions about the safety of Roundup and what this means to you. Our Roundup cancer lawsuit attorneys are here to help and inform you of your rights if you have Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- Do you have a Roundup case?
- How Have Roundup Lawsuits Gone so far?
- Are there still pending roundup lawsuits?
Roundup's Effect on People
- Is Roundup a Danger to People and What are the Long-term Effects?
- What are the Symptoms, Prognosis, & Treatment for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma?
- What is the Scientific Correlation Between Roundup and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma?
After reviewing this material, we invite you to contact our attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to discuss your legal rights and options related to Roundup Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma lawsuits and claims.
Do You Have a Roundup Case?
Yes, in theory, anyone who has developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup may have a case. The number of pending Roundup lawsuits is alarming. Some studies have shown an increase in the chance of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with even limited exposure to Roundup. If you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and you have used Roundup in the past, we can evaluate your case at no charge. Contact us. The discussion will be confidential, and we can help you decide what your next steps should be.
How Have Roundup Lawsuits Gone so far?
So far, only three lawsuits involving Roundup have made it through trial and a jury verdict and award. This isn't unusual for mass tort litigation. Several small cases usually serve as bellwether cases, indicating how future cases will fare.
- Dewayne Johnson: $289 million
In August of 2018, a jury awarded $289 million to Dewayne Johnson, a groundskeeper with stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Mr. Johnson used Roundup extensively throughout his career as a groundskeeper for a San Francisco area school district. He also had two accidents where he was soaked with the herbicide. Two years after the first incident, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. At the time of trial, lesions covered 80% of his body.
Mr. Johnson's case was the first to go to trial because he is seriously ill, and California law allows for dying plaintiffs to have expedited trials. His attorneys argued that Roundup caused Johnson's cancer and that the product failed to warn consumers about the risks of exposure to Roundup through the skin or otherwise. The jury unanimously found that Monsanto failed to warn about the carcinogenic dangers of Roundup and awarded $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages. The trial judge later lowered the punitive damage award to $78 million. Both sides have appealed.
- Edward Hardeman: $80 million
In March of 2019, a jury awarded Edward Hardeman more than $80 million in damages after determining that his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was caused in part by Roundup. Hardeman, age 70, used Roundup to control weeds and poison oak on his property for 26 years. In 2015 he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and, when the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, Hardeman sued Monsanto.
At trial, Mr. Hardeman's legal team presented expert testimony and research that indicates glyphosate causes mutations in cells and that populations exposed to Roundup are more likely to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The jury issued a preliminary verdict declaring that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing his cancer. The jury also determined that Monsanto demonstrated negligence and awarded Hardeman about five million for medical bills and pain and suffering, as well as $75 million in punitive damages.
The judge later lowered the punitive damage amount awarded to Hardeman to $20 million but also described Monsanto's conduct over questions about the safety of Roundup as “reprehensible.” In his ruling, Judge Chhabria wrote, “Despite years of colorable claims inthe scientific community that Roundup causes NHL, Monsanto presented minimal evidencesuggesting that it was interested in getting to the bottom of those claims…. While Monsanto repeatedly intones that it stands by the safety of its product, the evidence at trial painted the picture of a company focused onattacking or undermining the people who raised concerns, to the exclusion of being an objective arbiter of Roundup's safety.”
- Alva and Alberta Pilliod: $2 Billion
In the most recent jury verdict involving Roundup, a jury awarded a California couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, more than $2 billion in damages. The Pilliods had used Roundup on their property for decades. In 2011, Alva was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and then in 2015, Alberta was diagnosed with the same disease.
The Pilliod's lawyers argued that a billion-dollar verdict would send a message to Monsanto, basing the requested punitive damages - $1 billion for each of the Pilliods – on Monsanto's 2017 profit from Roundup of $892 million. Their attorneys also argued that homeowners are even more at risk from using Roundup, because they have never been warned to wear gloves, protective clothing, or masks while using the herbicide.
The judge in the case later cut the punitive damage award to $87 million, stating the original award was higher than the constitutional limits allowed for punitive damages. Judge Smith noted that the evidence supported both the jury's conclusion that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing the couple's cancers and that Monsanto knew that glyphosate could be dangerous and failed to warn the couple.
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Are There Still Pending Roundup Lawsuits?
Yes, there are currently more than 18,000 pending lawsuits involving Roundup weed killer. These fall in to two general categories: individual lawsuits and class action lawsuits. Most of these cases are part of a federal multidistrict litigation in California, a California state consolidated proceeding in Alameda Superior Court, and a Missouri state complex proceeding in St. Louis County Court. Many mass torts end up consolidated in a few locations for efficiency and to comply with federal jurisdictional and civil procedure rules.
- Individual Lawsuits:
The individual lawsuits filed against Monsanto are not part of a class action and seek remedies for injuries, such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, caused by Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, as well as a failure to warn of the dangers of the chemical. Many of these have been consolidated in the Alameda Superior Court in California, the St. Louis County Court in Missouri, and the federal MDL in California.
- Class Action Lawsuits:
There are also class action lawsuits against Monsanto pending in several states. These claims are related to false and misleading information on the Roundup label and don't involve allegations of personal injury or wrongful death. Many of the class action lawsuits revolve around Monsanto's continued insistence that Roundup targets an enzyme found in plants and not in people or pets. The class action suits allege that glyphosate can target bacteria in mammals, including humans:
“Glyphosate functions as a biocide by inhibiting the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (“EPSP”) synthase, disrupting the fifth of six enzymatic steps in the shikimate pathway, which processes aromatic amino acids in certain organisms. Although humans and other mammals themselves do not have a shikimate pathway,the shikimate pathway is present in bacteria, including beneficial bacteria that inhabit the mammalian gut and are essential to overall health.EPSP is therefore “found in . . . people [and] pets. Just like it inhibits EPSP synthase in weeds, the active ingredient in Roundup inhibits EPSP synthase in these human and pet gut bacteria, and just like it targets weeds, the active ingredient in Roundup targets the human and pet gut bacteria.”
While the individual lawsuits are not “class action” lawsuits, in 2016, a federal judiciary panel created a Roundup MDL (multi-district litigation), allowing the plaintiffs' attorneys to work together to develop the facts and science behind the glyphosate claims.
The next case that may go to trial consists of 14 plaintiffs grouped under Winston v. Monsanto. While the case was originally set for an October 15th trial in St. Louis County Court, Monsanto is attempting to break the case into smaller groups of two to three plaintiffs, arguing that the disparate claims of the plaintiffs, along with differing law from various states, makes a consolidated trial inappropriate. The parties are also arguing over the appropriate venue. Until Monsanto was purchased by Bayer in 2018, it was based in St. Louis, which is why so many suits were filed in Missouri state court. Monsanto has also delayed two other cases in the St. Louis area that were originally scheduled for trial in August and September.
Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria appointed attorney Kenneth Feinberg to begin mediating settlement discussions between Monsanto and the plaintiffs in the federal Roundup MDL. Mr. Feinberg has facilitated discussions in many high stakes claims, including the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill, and the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund. While these federal cases may not be in danger of settling any time soon, with billion-dollar verdicts piling up, Bayer (who now owns Monsanto) may consider doing so in the future.
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Is Roundup a Danger to People and What are the Long-term Effects?
Yes, Roundup weed killer is a danger to people. There are numerous long-term effects, including Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. After hearing so much about Roundup in the news, you may be wondering about the substance behind all of the claims. So, what is the biochemical basis for Roundup cancer claims, and what does the science actually say?
Roundup suppresses the ability of plants to produce key amino acids and proteins needed for growth. Since all plants need these proteins to live, Roundup kills all plants, not just weeds. The chemical is nearly ubiquitous. Landscapers and farmers use it on residential lawns and gardens, public parks, school yards, right-of-way areas, and crops.
Crops genetically engineered to be immune to Roundup are increasing the levels of glyphosate found in streams, lakes, and ditches. Glyphosate is also now found in much of our food, which is in turn building up in our bodies.
The Long-Terms Effects to People are:
- Glyphosate as a Carcinogen
Exposure to glyphosate increases the risk for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system that severely impacts the body's immune system. Global health organizations agree. In 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, is probably carcinogenic to humans and that exposure may increase the risk of contracting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- Environmental Exposure
Once Monsanto debuted its Roundup Ready seeds in the 1990s, Roundup became much more useful to the agricultural industry. Farmers could now spray the weed killer on all of their fields, killing weeds without harming crops. But over time, weeds developed a resistance to glyphosate, requiring more and more of the herbicide to kill the weeds. Eventually, “super weeds” immune to Roundup developed. Now, many farmers are back to using multiple herbicides, including glyphosate, on their fields. This results in more chemical run off into ditches, streams, lakes, and eventually our water supply. A report based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data indicates that farmers are now using 383 million pounds more of pesticides than they would have if Roundup had never been developed.
- Exposure Through Food
People are now facing unprecedented levels of glyphosate in their foods. As Roundup use has dramatically increased, so has the level of the herbicide found in our food supply. In 2019, tests from the Environmental Working Group of 21 oat-based cereal and snack products revealed that all but four products contained measurable amounts of glyphosate higher than the EWG considers safe for children.
Alarmingly, it seems that children may be exposed to glyphosate through food at higher rates than adults. In July of 2019, CBS news reported on a study measuring glyphosate levels found in adults and their children. A Vermont parent reported that she was floored by the results indicating that her daughter's glyphosate levels were 100 times her own. The study tested 12 families for glyphosate and 11 tested positive. Ten of the children in the study had significantly higher levels of glyphosate than their parents.
Despite all of this, glyphosate is not included in the U.S. government's testing of pesticide residues in food or its monitoring of chemicals in human tissue and blood samples. So, there is limited information on how much exposure people face from the use of Roundup on crops or in residential areas. At the same time that use of glyphosate dramatically increased, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency relaxed its rules on how much glyphosate it considers “safe.” Fifty times more glyphosate is now allowed on corn grain than was permitted by the EPA in 1996.
While Bayer, which now owns Monsanto, refuses to acknowledge the dangers of glyphosate, the company recently announced that it will be investing more than $5 billion to develop glyphosate alternatives. In the meantime, people continue to be exposed to Roundup and glyphosate through the environment and the food we eat. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after using Roundup, contact us for a free consultation.
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What are the Symptoms, Prognosis, & Treatment for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer that originates in the lymphatic system, an important part of your body's immune system. The disease starts in lymphocytes, white blood cells that help fight infection. While lymphocytes normally have a predictable life cycle, when old lymphocytes continue to abnormally grow and divide, they stack up in the lymph nodes, causing swelling. The disease can progress on to the rest of the lymphatic system, including the lymphatic vessels, adenoids, tonsils, spleen, thymus, and bone marrow. Sometimes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can spread to organs outside the lymphatic system as well.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can begin in either the B cells or the T cells.
- B Cells:
B cells fight infection by producing antibodies that neutralize infections. Most non-Hodgkin's lymphoma originates in the B cells. Subtypes that originate in these cells include diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma.
- T Cells:
T cells are directly involved in killing foreign invaders and infections. The subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that involve T cells include peripheral T-cell lymphoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
Symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include:
- Swollen, but painless lymph nodes in your armpits, groin, or neck.
- Fever or night sweats
- Persistent fatigue or weakness
- Chest pain, coughing, or trouble breathing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Itching of the skin
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Prognosis
The prognosis for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is largely dependent on the stage of the disease.
- Stage I: The cancerous cells are only found in one lymph node area or one part of a tissue or organ.
- Stage II: There are lymphoma cells in at least two lymph node areas on the same side of the body or in one organ and the lymph nodes near that organ.
- Stage III: The lymphoma is in lymph nodes above and below the diaphragm. The lymphoma may have spread into an organ near an affected lymph node group.
- Stage IV: In addition to lymph cell spread, lymphoma cells are in several parts of one or more organs or tissue.
- Type A: The patient has no symptoms.
- Type B: The patient has had weight loss, night sweats, fever, or severe itching.
Overall, about 65% of people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma will live 10 years or more. But among those with stage IV of the disease, about 65% of patients can expect to live about five years.Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatment
Treatment plans for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are dependent on many factors, including:
- The type of disease
- The stage of the disease
- How quickly the cancer is growing
- The patient's age
- Any other patient health problems
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with symptoms is generally treated with chemotherapy and biological therapy. Although stage I and II may require radiation therapy. Treatment options include:
Chemotherapy involves oral or injectable medication that kills cancer cells. Symptoms include nausea, fatigue, and hair loss. Long-term risks include fertility problems, heart damage, lung damage, and other cancers.
- Radiation Therapy:
High doses of radiation in x-rays or protons can kill cancerous cells and shrink tumors. Generally, radiation is targeted to the area of the body where the cancer is present. Side effects can include skin redness and hair loss at the site of the radiation. Long-term risks include heart disease, thyroid problems, stroke, and other cancers.
- Stem Cell Transplant:
A stem cell or bone marrow transplant involves high doses of radiation or chemotherapy to suppress the body's stem cells. The blood will then be infused with healthy bone marrow from another part of the patient's body or from a donor. These stem cells will travel to the bones and rebuild the body's bone marrow.
- Biological Drugs:
These medications enhance and support the body's immune system and its ability to fight cancers. Drugs used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include monoclonal antibodies like Rituxan, which bind to cancer cells and boost the immune system's facility to fight cancer cells.
- Radio Immunotherapy Medications:
These medications are often made from monoclonal antibodies that carry radioactive isotopes and deliver radiation directly to cancer cells.
While non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a terminal illness, there are many treatment options.
What is the Scientific Correlation Between Roundup and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma?
After hearing so much frightening information about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Roundup, you may be wondering exactly how Roundup causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for doctors or scientists to definitely say that something causes cancer. Scientists can't run trials with human subjects, randomly assigning some to be dosed with Roundup and some to be dosed with a placebo. That would be unethical. Instead, we look to: (1) epidemiological studies that show a statistical association between the use of Roundup or glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and (2) toxicological studies that look at how glyphosate affects cells and tissue.
- Statistical Association
Studies showing an association between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and herbicides stretches back more than 30 years. As early as 1986, researchers found that men repeatedly exposed to herbicides had a greatly increased risk of developing the cancer. In 2001, a cross-Canada study of pesticides found that men exposed to certain herbicides and pesticides, including organophosphours like Roundup, had a 73% increased chance of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
In 2019, a meta-analysis combining all of the studies that addressed glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma focused on people with the highest levels of exposure to the chemical. The study found that those who had the most exposure to glyphosate were 41% more likely to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- Toxicological Studies
Toxicological studies of glyphosate have found that the chemical is genotoxic, meaning it can affect the integrity of a cell's genetic material. Between 1983 and 2017, 12 studies showed that glyphosate-based herbicides are genotoxic. In fact, a 2007 study revealed that Roundup is more toxic to living cells than Glyphosate alone. So, while it may be difficult to definitely say that Roundup caused or causes a specific cancer, the evidence demonstrates that exposure to Roundup is dangerous to humans and increases the risk for developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
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We can Help, Contact Us Now
If you or a loved one need more information about Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Roundup, please contact the Roundup lawsuit attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLCtoday by calling888-424-5757. Your consultation is free.