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$10.5 billion Monsanto Settlements in the US – Monsanto cancer Roundup case

By LHD Lawyers

German chemicals and pharmaceutical giant Bayer has recently reached a settlement agreement estimating a total of $10.5 billion USD for tens of thousands of claims that their weed killer product Roundup causes cancer. 

Bayer acquired the Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in 2018 for a total of $68 billion USD, therefore inheriting the many claims made against the Roundup product in the process. 

Plaintiffs of the claim allege that glyphosate (a herbicide that is the Roundup product’s main ingredient) causes cancer, however both Monsanto and Bayer have maintained throughout the proceedings that the weed killer is safe to use. 

This $10.5 billion USD settlement covers approximately 95,000 cases according to a press release, however Bayer still faces approximately 25,000 more claims from plaintiffs who did not agree to be a part of this particular settlement. The Roundup product will continue to be sold across the United States and the world, with no warnings being added to its label as to the product’s safety. 

Amidst a coronavirus pandemic that’s currently obliterating the United States, the New York Times reported that the shuttered courts across the country may have contributed to the settlement being reached.

The history of Monsanto Roundup 

Glyphosate was introduced as an ingredient in 1974, and gained further commercial momentum in 1996 after Monsanto created genetically modified seeds that could survive Roundup’s concentrated attacks on common agricultural and residential weeds. 

Glyphosate (and the Roundup product) quickly came to the attention of farmers across the United States, as it was promised to reduce costs and increase their crop yields. For example, in the United States today, 94 percent of soybean crops and 90 percent of cotton and corn now come from seeds that have been genetically altered. 

Roundup cancer lawsuit settlements

Pressure on Bayer to reach a settlement had been gradually building over the past year after thousands and thousands of lawsuits started to stack up, and investors started to become more open about how discontent they were with the company’s approach to the legal proceedings. 

Lawyers representing Bayer said in a press release that they had originally earmarked $8.8 to $9.6 billion USD to settle the claims against the product and company, with another $1.25 billion USD set aside for potential future claims. Bayer said the settlements include no admission of liability or wrongdoing in regards to Bayer cancer Roundup claims on behalf of the company. 

The deal was announced on Wednesday, and is one of the largest settlements ever seen in United States civil litigation. The legal negotiations surrounding the settlement were extremely complex, involving the segmentation of 25 separate agreements with lead law firms, whose clients will receive varying amounts based on their harmful experiences caused by the product. It is estimated that individuals will each receive payments between $5,000 USD and $25,000 USD (according to two people involved in the negotiation). 

Most of the earlier Monsanto Roundup cases were lodged by homeowners and groundskeepers who had been using the product for a number of years, however they account for only a small portion of total Roundup sales. Farmers are the most prevalent Roundup customers, and many United States agricultural associations maintain that glyphosate is safe and effective, as well as a better alternative compared to other herbicide products. 

Previous Roundup weed killer cancer lawsuit settlements

Mere weeks after Bayer purchased Monsanto in 2018, a jury in the California state court awarded $289 million USD to Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper, who it was concluded has developed cancer due to his exposure to glyphosate. Jurors said that Monsanto had failed to warn consumers of the risk. 

A second trial emerged in March 2019, this time in the San Francisco federal court, which produced a similar outcome for Edwin Hardeman. A homeowner who had used Roundup as weed killer on his property, he received an $80 million USD compensation settlement. 

Bayer Roundup cancer case launches independent expert panel

Kenneth R. Feinberg is a key Roundup cancer lawsuit lawyer who oversaw the settlement mediation process in the case against Roundup. Judge Chhabira of the U.S. District Court is another key figure, having overseen hundreds of federal Monsanto Roundup cases. Judge Chhabria appointed Mr. Feinberg to lead the negotiations for the settlement agreement, including handling the thousands of others that had been filed in United States state courts and other jurisdictions. 

As mentioned previously, $1.25 billion USD has been set aside for a class action suit filed in Judge Chhabria’s court on behalf of those who have suffered as a result of using Bayer Monsanto products. Part of this $1.25 billion USD figure will also be used to create an independent expert panel that will seek to address two critical issues about the key Roundup ingredient glyphosate. These questions are:

  • Does glyphosate cause cancer?
  • And if it does, what is the minimum dosage or exposure level that is dangerous?

If this independent expert panel concludes that glyphosate is a carcinogen, then Bayer will not be able to argue otherwise in future cases. However, if the experts reach the opposite conclusion, then the class action’s lawyers will not be able to argue the opposing view. 

Debate over glyphosate first came to a head in 2015 when an arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the herbicide could “probably” cause cancer. However, the statement was later refuted by the U.S. National Institute of Health in 2017. 

Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

In May of 2019, an enormous settlement award of $2 billion USD was delivered to Alva and Alberta Pilliod. They successfully argued that using Roundup had caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Is Roundup linked to Multiple Myeloma? 

Exposure to glyphosate (and Monsanto’s Roundup) has been implicated in the development of Multiple Myeloma, especially in agricultural workers. Several other toxic chemicals are known to cause Multiple Myeloma, such as benzene and the dioxins in Agent Orange. 

Have you been affected by Bayer Monsanto products?

LHD Lawyers are encouraging those affected by Monsanto’s Roundup to register their interest for a case evaluation. You may have a right to demand compensation from Monsanto for physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, grief, anxiety, and emotional distress. 

LHD Lawyers are still accepting registrants from those who have suffered from exposure to Roundup and wish to participate in the case. Please register your interest by contacting us on 1800 455 725 or fill out our contact form here and we can advise you on your legal rights and support you in this hard time.

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