What is dangerous about glyphosate?
Roundup is an effective herbicide that has been widely used to kill weeds in gardens, on farms, and on lawns. The active ingredient in this weedkiller is called glyphosate. Researchers have found a link between glyphosate exposure and specific types of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia.
The research demonstrating the link prompted the World Health Organization to issue warnings for herbicides that contain glyphosate in 2015, and many countries have subsequently banned it. However, this herbicide is still available in the U.S. and is the most popular type of weedkiller that is used by people in their gardens and on their lawns. It is also used by large agricultural businesses for their crops.
Two major verdicts against Monsanto have been handed down by juries in San Franciso because of the link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In August 2018, a jury awarded a man $289 million after he developed the disease. He was a former groundskeeper. The judge reduced the verdict to $78 million.
A second case involving a Sonoma County man who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using the glyphosate-based weedkiller on his property for 20 years recently reached a verdict. The jury in that case awarded the man $80 million in March 2019. Monsanto has filed an appeal in both cases and is likely to fight other cases that may be filed against it.
Hundreds of other cases have been filed by victims across the country against Monsanto.
The company is vigorously litigating against the lawsuits that have been filed against it and continues to claim that glyphosate is safe. Despite the research showing that it is a carcinogen, the company persists in its claims that its weedkiller is safe to use.
What type of lawsuits are these?
Lawsuits that are filed against Monsanto for glyphosate-linked cancers fall under the area of the law called product liability. Manufacturers of products owe a duty of care to keep their consumers safe. When consumers suffer harm while using the products they purchase in the way that was intended, the manufacturers may be liable to pay compensation.
In Los Angeles, plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against Monsanto for glyphosate-linked cancers have requested that the court consolidate their claims in a multidistrict litigation. This is not the same thing as a class-action lawsuit. Multidistrict litigation allows many plaintiffs who have suffered serious injuries to recover more compensation than they might in a class-action lawsuit.
Multidistrict litigation is a federal tool that can be used in complex product liability actions such as the claims against Monsanto. It allows individual cases to proceed more quickly. The parties are able to share evidence with each other while retaining their own sets of facts in their cases.
People who are at risk
People who are most at risk of developing cancers as a result of glyphosate exposure include those who have routinely used glyphosate-containing herbicides in their gardens and on their lawns. Those who have used this herbicide at their jobs are also at a higher risk. If you live in an area of Los Angeles in which many people around you use glyphosate-containing herbicides, your risk of developing certain cancers is also higher.
Why file a lawsuit?
Some people hesitate to file lawsuits because they worry that they will be perceived negatively for doing so. However, if you have contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, or multiple myeloma, you might face ongoing medical costs for years. Medical prices are increasing, making it difficult for most people to understand how much they might actually lose over time.
Monsanto is a large, multinational corporation, and its actions have caused harm to thousands of people around the world. It has been penalized by the FDA for using fraudulent research about glyphosate in an effort to hide the product’s toxicity from consumers. Lawsuits against companies like Monsanto can help to compensate you for your economic and non-economic losses while also serving as a deterrent to future bad conduct.
Deadlines for filing lawsuits
Like other states, California has established limitations periods for products liability claims. In order to recover compensation, people must file their lawsuits within the prescribed limitations period. People who try to file claims outside of the limitations period will be unable to recover compensation for their losses. This makes it important for you to contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat as soon as possible to learn about the applicable statutory time limit that applies to your case.
The potential compensation that you might expect in your own claim against Monsanto will depend on multiple factors. Properly valuing a claim involves looking at the severity of your injuries and your likelihood of recovery. An attorney may analyze what happened to you to provide you with a fair assessment of the potential value of your claim.
In California, damages are divided into two primary categories, including special and general damages. Special damages are the pecuniary losses that you have suffered and are easier to place a dollar value on. Some of the types of special damages that might be recoverable include the following:
- Past and future expected medical expenses
- Lost income
- Reduction in your ability to earn an income in the future
General damages are more nebulous and are harder to value. These include the following types:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium for spouses
If your loved one was killed because of his or her glyphosate use, you may be able to recover reasonable funeral and burial costs. If a jury finds that Monsanto acted in a particularly egregious manner, you might also be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants and extend beyond your actual losses.
Contact the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat
If you have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or leukemia that you believe might be linked to your use of an herbicide that contains glyphosate, you may have legal rights. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat are experienced in handling complex product liability claims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so that you can learn about your potential claim and your rights.