THE 16 BILLION DOLLAR ROUNDUP LAWSUIT

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In the world of weed abatement and yard care, no brand is more ubiquitous than Roundup. It has been the premier herbicide for homeowners and farmers alike, and is one of the most used agricultural products around the globe. 

However, there are now hundreds of thousands of lawsuits against the makers of Roundup, Bayer, alleging that the product causes cancer. At this time, the company has set aside more than $16 billion in anticipation of paying current and future settlements. 

In addition to the lawsuits alleging that the product has caused cancer, Bayer has a separate class-action settlement of nearly $40 million. The lawsuit alleged that the labels on Roundup products were misleading since they failed to mention the cancer risks some people associate with the product.

Do you qualify to join this class-action settlement? Visit https://usalegal.com/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/ to learn more.

What Is Roundup?

Roundup is a product created by the company Monsanto and is used to control unwanted flora. It belongs to a group of products called herbicides, which simply means that the product is designed to kill plants. 

Roundup remains one of the most popular weed killers of all time, and has been an industry leader since it was first introduced in the early 1970s. 

How Does Roundup Work?

The main active ingredient in Roundup is called glyphosate. It’s considered a broad spectrum herbicide which means it does not discriminate between types of plants. People who use the product must therefore be very careful to only apply it to plants they wish to kill. 

To make life easier on farmers and other people who regularly control for weeds, Monsanto has also created numerous genetically engineered seeds that are resistant to the damage caused by glyphosate. That allows entire fields to be sprayed with Roundup without risking the crops. 

When glyphosate was first patented as an herbicide in 1970, it was considered safe for humans and animals. However, there have been multiple times that a link between the weed killer and cancer has come into question. 

Mansanto’s Controversial History 

The Mansanto company is steeped in nearly constant controversy. At multiple times throughout history they have had products they sell linked to cancer. Among them are DDT, a now banned insecticide, and the artificial sweetener aspartame. 

Some of their controversial products have been cleared as safe for consumption, like aforementioned aspartame. Roundup, and it’s main ingredient glyphosate, have a more convoluted history with disease. 

In 1985 the Environmental Protection Agency found evidence that glyphosate may cause cancer, and they classified it as a Class C Carcinogen. However, it was lowered to Class E in 1991 after further study failed to find a strong link. 

Then in 2015 the World Health Organization determined that there was a strong link between the popular weed killer and cancer. The United States did not change their view on the chemical, but some countries such as Germany and France have banned or are in the process of banning its use. 

Bayer Purchases Monsanto

The most recent development in Monsanto’s history is that they were purchased by the pharmaceutical giant Bayer. Bayer had originally said that they would be discontinuing the Monsanto name, however as of Dec 2021 the name is still referenced on many lawsuits as well as the name Mansanto-Bayer. 

Bayer, which is based in Germany where the use of glyphosate is being phased out, has said that they will cease to produce Roundup for residential use starting in 2023. They have not made any comments concerning the sale of Roundup for use in agriculture. 

Who Uses Roundup?

Roundup is the most common herbicide in the world, and is still used routinely today. 

Traditional Farms

Farmhands and other people associated with the agriculture industry come into contact with Roundup the most. Not only is it used to kill unwanted vegetation, it is often used to help harvest crops such as wheat and barley. 

Farm workers are advised to follow the safety procedures when handling glyphosate. These safety procedures include wearing respirators, gloves, and aprons. 

Organic Farms

Certified Organic farming practices state that glyphosate herbicides may not be used. However, independent testing has shown that not all organic produce is glyphosate free. Some reports go as far as to say that up to one third of organic grain had traces of glyphosate. 

Owners of organic farms claim that this is because nearby non-organic farms often spray the chemicals on their fields, and the winds can carry trace amounts great distances. 

Forest and Land Management

Glyphosate is often used in a variety of outdoor spaces. Cities may use it to remove weeds from the sidewalks and paths, and railroad companies often spray glyphosate on the tracks to discourage plant growth that may damage the rails. 

Land management workers may also use Roundup to destroy invasive species of flora. When combined with other methods of weed eradication, the use of herbicides in select areas can help ensure that native plant species thrive. 

Landscapers and Homeowners

Many homeowners will use Roundup products to remove weeds and other unwanted plants from their garden. Although they usually do so infrequently, the brand is the best selling brand of herbicide so it is likely that most homes have at least some exposure to glyphosate every year. 

Landscapers and other yard maintenance companies often use Roundup in much higher quantities and use it much more frequently. 

Landscapers, farmhands, and similar people who have regular exposure to glyphosate are the ones most at risk to develop symptoms related to the use of Roundup. 

The Alleged Dangers of Roundup

Glyphosate can be harmful if swallowed. It will cause nausea and irritation of the throat. If left in contact with the skin or eyes, it can cause mild irritation or burning. 

However, with simple safe handling procedures most of these risks can be mitigated. It is recommended that you wash your hands after using Roundup, and avoid touching any plants that have been sprayed in the last 24 hours. 

The greater risk of exposure to glyphosate occurs from long-term exposure. It is a very controversial topic, though. Monsanto ,and now Bayer, have continued to state that Roundup is not dangerous. As recently as 2020 the United States EPA has stated that glyphosate is safe when handled correctly. 

That is not the greater consensus, though. 

Long-Term Risks

The primary ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is potentially carcinogenic according to a study published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Journal. A Swedish study published in the International Journal of Medicine clarifies that the risk of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis doubled after a person was exposed to glyphosate for less than ten years. 

In addition to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, some studies have connected Roundup to chronic lymphocytic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia. 

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, sometimes abbreviated NHL, is a type of cancer that begins in a person’s lymph nodes, which are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, and the affected lymphocytes, cells that fight off infections, can travel throughout the body and cause numerous tumors. 

There are many types of lymphoma, but the two most associated with Roundup are B-cell and T-cell lymphomas. They are named after the types of immune cells that are affected. B-cell lymphomas can be aggressive or slow-growing, while T-cell lymphomas tend to be exclusively aggressive. 

Leukemia is cancer of the bone marrow or other blood forming tissue. Like lymphoma, there are many types of leukemias and many of them affect similar cells that are part of the immune system. The biggest difference is that leukemia primarily affects white blood cells instead of B and T cells.

In either case, once the unhealthy cells outnumber the healthy cells in the body, they will begin to accumulate and cause tumors. The lungs and liver are the most common places for these tumors to start, but those are not exclusive.

Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

There are a variety of symptoms associated with NHL, however it can vary from person to person. It’s important to see a medical professional if you believe you may have any form of cancer. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Pressure in the abdomen or chest area
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Severe or frequent infections
  • Easy bruising and bleeding

Symptoms of Leukemia

The symptoms of Leukemia are very similar to the symptoms of lymphoma. Only a doctor can tell you for sure what the cause of your symptoms are. 

In addition to the symptoms found with lymphoma, leukemia may also cause:

  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Petechiae
  • Bone pain
  • Heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • Muscle pain
  • Bone pain, especially in the spine

What Should You Do If You Believe You Were Affected By Roundup?

If you believe you have been affected by Roundup after being in regular contact with the product, it is imperative that you speak to a medical professional and explain the situation to them. Even if it’s the case that Roundup and cancer are not linked, cancer is a serious illness and anytime a person exhibits symptoms of cancer they need to see a doctor. 

Not only is early detection one of the most important tools in fighting cancer, but you also want to start building a case as soon as possible in case you want to pursue legal action against Bayer. 

After seeing a doctor, a person who suspects that they have been negatively affected by Roundup should contact a qualified local attorney. 

A person should also contact a local qualified attorney if they are related or close to an individual who has passed away due to cancer, and who was regularly in contact with glyphosate. This is because some cases may be filed after the death of an individual as long as it is done within a timely manner, usually one or two years. 

Roundup’s History of Lawsuits

Numerous lawsuits have been filed alleging that Roundup caused cancer in an individual. 

  • In 1996, the New York attorney general charged Monsanto with deceptive marketing. They alleged that Monsanto routinely claimed that Roundup was incredibly safe and non-toxic when that wasn’t the truth.
  • A man who worked as a groundskeeper in California’s bay area was awarded $289 million in 2018 after he claimed that exposure to the chemicals in roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It would later be reduced to 21 million.
  • A further two billion dollars was awarded to a husband and wife who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that they linked to using roundup, although the amount was reduced to $86.7 million. 
  • In 2011 a plaintiff stated that he was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia. He filed a lawsuit in March of 2020. Due to ongoing national health issues, the trial has not yet started. 
  • In August 2021, Bayer attempted to escalate some cases to the supreme court after losing their third appeal. 
  • So far more than 20,00 lawsuits and multijurisdictional litigations have been filed against Monsanto and Bayer. More than two billion dollars has allegedly been paid out.
  • Bayer won a case in November of 2021 when a child alleging to have gotten NHL from roundup was found to have had insufficient exposure to cause the illness.
  • As of Dec 18, 2021, Bayer/Mansanto’s case is being looked at by the US Supreme Court. 

Bayer’s Settlement Offer

The number of lawsuits against Bayer continues to climb. In 2020 Bayer set aside ten billion dollars to settle most of the pending cases. They offered an average of $160,000 per case. 

However, many plaintiffs have not accepted the settlement offer. Between the Supreme Court case, Bayer’s threat of bankruptcy, and the amount of time that has passed since the initial offer, though, it is unclear if further action will result in a better payout. 

This settlement offer only applies to plaintiffs that have medical records proving they have a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis and record proving they had routine contact with Roundup in the year before the diagnosis. 

Class-Action Lawsuit

In addition to the individual settlement offers, there is a separate class-action lawsuit that alleges the labelling on Roundup products is misleading. The claim is that since the labelling on Roundup products does not state that it could be harmful to humans and other animals that some people may have purchased the product when they would not have had they known the risk. 

Bayer reached an agreement to settle this class-action suit for nearly $40 million. However, the qualifications to take part in the lawsuit differ from state to state. In most states the window for claims dates back to 2015, but some states allow for more time to have passed. 

If an individual believes they qualify, they need to check with their state to find out if the state has approved the settlement and how large the window to make the claim is.  

Any person who believes they were misled by a Roundup label should check roundupwgksettlement.com to see if they are eligible. They may be able to receive a payment as a result of the $40 million settlement without needing to consult an attorney. These payments vary in amount, but many people could be eligible for as much as $90. 

Who Qualifies to Be Part of a Roundup Lawsuit?

The proposed $10 billion settlement, which was upgraded to $12 billion in summer of 2021, is meant to end most cancer-related lawsuits against Bayer that are currently pending. However, that settlement has been held up in court, been rejected, amended, and appealed since it was proposed, and it is now under review by the US Supreme Court. 

At this time it seems likely that the courts will rule against Bayer, but that has not happened at the time of writing this. 

Otherwise, Bayer has not released any plans on how they will be handling new lawsuits going forward. People who believe they are experiencing complications from regular exposure to Roundup should consult a qualified attorney. 

Future Lawsuits

Since it is unknown how Bayer will handle future lawsuits, it’s impossible to say whether or not new cases being presented will be settled. Any person who is experiencing issues they believe are related to the use of glyphosate will need to bring a new lawsuit against the company. 

The best thing they can do is talk to a qualified attorney and make sure they have records that prove they were in contact with the substances, and that they have a diagnosis from a qualified medical professional. 

Bayer Plans to Pull Roundup from Shelves, Halt Payments

In August of 2021, Bayer announced that in order to avoid future lawsuits they would be pulling glyphosate based Roundup from US shelves. They have also set aside an additional $4.5 billion for future settlements, although it is unclear what their plan is to deal with any new lawsuit.  

Then, in December of 2021, Bayer halted some settlement payments pending the result of their appeal to the US Supreme Court. 

Bayer claims that since the label they put on Roundup products was approved by federal regulators, they should not be held liable for misleading people about the nature of their product. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the claim, which is why Bayer chose to appeal to the Supreme Court. 

How Long Will These Lawsuits Last? 

At this point in time, Bayer seems to be regularly setting aside more money in order to be prepared for future settlement cases. They have already surpassed $16 billion dollars, and some experts expect that they will need to contribute even more. 

People filing new lawsuits may have to wait up to 15 years before a verdict is reached. However, the wait for payments from the class-action lawsuit will likely be much shorter. While the payments are currently halted, most experts believe that Bayer will be forced to resume the payments after the next session of the Supreme Court. 

For More Information

If you or someone you know has been in regular contact with Roundup products and feels that they have been adversely affected by them, more information can be found at https://usalegal.com/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/. They have qualified lawyers on staff that are there to help people with any legal inquiries they may have. 

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