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Latest Roundup Lawsuit Update

Original source: Miller & Zois

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This article was revised with new litigation and settlement Roundup lawsuit update on June 20, 2022.

June 20, 2022 Update: A unanimous Ninth Circuit panel told the EPA to reconsider its conclusion that the weedkiller Roundup is free from "unreasonable risk to man or the environment.” The court agreed with environmental and food safety advocates that the EPA did not fully consider whether Roundup causes cancer. Importantly, the court pointed out that "most studies EPA examined indicated that human exposure to glyphosate is associated with an at least somewhat increased risk of developing NHL." This does not jive with the EPA's "not likely to cause cancer" conclusion.

Bayer's momentum from a few wins in recent Roundup lawsuits is now dead. History is not on the side of glyhosate.

June 18, 2022 Update: Bayer gets it fourth straight win in a Roundup lawsuit in Oregon. Bayer's Roundup lawyers have made a lot of mistakes in this litigation. But this new settle the hard Roundup cancer lawsuits and try the claims that are difficult for plaintiffs is giving Bayer new, albeit artificial, momentum.

June 13, 2022 Update: The U.S. Supreme Court will decide this week whether to hear Bayer’s major appeal in the Roundup lawsuits. Last year, the the court postponed a decision on whether to hear the appeal to give the Biden administration an opportunity to weigh in on the issues. iden’s Solicitor General has filed a brief urging the Court to reject the appeal. So our Roundup lawyers are confident that the Supreme Court will to decline to hear the case.

June 11, 2022 Update: Bad news. The jury found for Bayer in Shelton after 7 hours of deliberation yesterday. This is bad news. But, ultimately, it is important to keep in mind that Bayer is settling the cases it does not want to go to trial - like it did the last round of cases in St. Louis - and trying the cases that it should win. Even with that caveat, it is a tough loss for all plaintiffs with a pending Roundup lawsuit.
June 7, 2022 Update: The plaintiffs’ case in Shelton concluded last week. Monsanto's lawyers filed a motion for a directed verdict which says that even if you accept what the plaintiff's witnesses have said, the case should still be dismissed. These motions are commonly filed by defendants, and commonly denied, at the conclusion of the plaintiffs’ case. This motion was denied. On Wednesday, the Court entered an Order denying Monsanto’s motion to strike the testimony of the plaintiffs’ causation expert Dr. Kenneth Spaeth. Now Monsanto's lawyers will put on its defense, likely calling the usual cast of characters. More and more, it looks like Monsanto will let the jury decide Shelton but this decision is perplexing. Monsanto gains little with a win - they cherry-picket Sheldon to try - but a loss solidifies the view that these Roundup lawsuits cannot be defended.

June 4, 2022 Update: An administrative judge in Philadelphia ordered that 100 pending Roundup lawsuits be consolidated into a class action lawsuit. Judge Lysette Shirdon-Harris' order effectively creates a mini Roundup class action lawsuit in Pennsylvania.

How can Bayer/Monsanto be sued in state court? The Roundup lawsuits being filed in Pennsylvania name Philadelphia-based chemical maker Nouryon as a defendant. This is a very favorable jurisdiction for defendants, so much so that plaintiffs outside of Pennsylvania are joining this Roundup class action lawsuit

June 6, 2022 Update: We still do not have a verdict in the Roundup Sheldon trial in Kansas City. Last week, the defense team for Monsanto/Bayer filed several motions seeking to exclude certain evidence from the case. Specifically, the defense asked the court to strike the testimony of the plaintiffs’ expert on specific causation (Dr. Kenneth Spaeth). They also challenged the admissibility of a 2019 letter from the EPA to registered sellers/manufacturers of glyphosate. The trial judge held a hearing (without the jury) on these motions on Friday.

June 2, 2022 Update: Former Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant much awaited testimony was given in Shelton last week. The most important concession from Mr. Grant was that Monsanto never bothered to do their own tests to see if there was a connection between Roundup and NHL or CLL.

May 11, 2022 Update: Big news yesterday. The Biden's administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject Bayer's appeal that argued every Roundup lawsuit because it is preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote that the "EPA's approval of labeling that does not warn about particular chronic risks does not by itself preempt a state-law requirement to provide such warnings." The Supreme Court had asked the administration if it believed the Supreme Court should hear Bayer's appeal. This is a huge win for plaintiffs.

May 4, 2022 Update: If Shelton v. Monsanto does go to trial, former Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant will be required to testify, over Bayer's objections. This would be the first Roundup lawsuit to go to trial outside of California.

May 6, 2022 Update: Although Bayer has already settled about 75% of the Roundup NHL cancer lawsuits, there are still over 30,000 Roundup cases pending across the country. The Roundup cases in federal court are on pause pending the outcome of Bayer’s appeal to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, however, plaintiffs with Roundup lawsuits in state courts are pressing ahead. Several cases in California state courts have gone to trial. The last two trials have gone poorly. But these were outlier cases involving plaintiffs with comparatively weak claims.

This week in Kansas City, Missouri, we will get our first mainstream Roundup trial since 2019 when a series of massive verdicts in the initial Roundup bellwether trials effectively forced Bayer into settlement mode. The trial is already underway and is expected to last 3 weeks. The former CEO of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, is scheduled to testify after losing an appeal to block his testimony.

May 1, 2022 Update: The next Roundup lawsuit to go to trial will be in Missouri later this week. But our lawyers expect Bayer will settle before letting another Roundup lawsuit go to trial. This is exactly what happened last month in St. Louis (see our April 13th update below).

April 29, 2022 Update: The Round MDL judge indicated that he is prepared to approve a proposed settlement of the Roundup consumer class action cases alleging that Monsanto illegally marketed Roundup without providing cancer warning labels. (Our lawyers talk more about his lawsuit in our February 3, 2022 update below.)

The pending settlement will establish a $45 million fund to resolve these class actions. However, Judge Chhabria stated that he will not give final approval unless steps are taken to ensure that the settlement does not confuse potential class members that they will still have the right to file a Roundup cancer lawsuit if they develop NHL in the future. The judge does not want victims to think that accepting a Roundup settlement check for the consumer lawsuits, it means you cannot bring a claim if you later find out you have been diagnosed with cancer as the result of exposure to this pesticide.

Hopefully, this is a precursor to Bayer offering reasonable settlement payouts to the remaining victims to resolve the remaining glyphosate lawsuits.

April 13, 2022 Update: Bayer does not appear to be willing to let another Roundup lawsuit go to trial if the plaintiff has a reasonable claim. Last week, Bayer agreed to a settlement to resolve a group of Roundup lawsuits. This settlement allowed the company to avoid a trial set to start this week in Kansas City. Many of the remaining Roundup claims are pending in state court in Missouri.

April 10, 2022 Update: Much of the energy in the Roundup class action lawsuit is focused on whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Bayer's preemption appeal. The Supreme Court has asked the Biden administration to submit a brief with its position on whether the government believes every Roundup lawsuit should be preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. There is speculation that the Solicitor General will file a response in the late spring. The position the Biden administration will take is anyone's guess. But it is hard to imagine a scenario where the Environmental Protection Agency - which reviews a pesticide every 15 years - will want to serve as police, judge, and jury on every lawsuit involving a pesticide.

March 23, 2022 Update: Bayer has appealed another Roundup verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bayer filed a 43-page writ of certiorari to our high court regurgitating its preemption argument that has yet to gain traction with other courts. The argument is essentially that because the EPA has found Roundup safe, any Roundup lawsuit alleging Roundup causes cancer is preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, (FIFRA), the federal statute that regulates herbicides and their labels. This appeal is of the $2 billion Roundup verdict that was later reduced to $86.7 million.

March 7, 2022 Update: There are now 4,005 cases remaining in the Roundup MDL. Increasingly, Roundup lawyers are bringing Roundup lawsuits in state court. Our Roundup cancer lawyers believe- and Bayer confirmed on an earnings call - there are approximately 31,000 Roundup lawsuits that have still not been settled. Some portion of these remaining Roundup cancer lawsuits may be time-barred by the statute of limitations. But many others are very viable lawsuits. Our lawyers continue to get new Roundup cases every week.

Bayer has set aside billions for Roundup settlements in the weed killer lawsuits that have not settled. Hopefully, Bayer will come back with larger settlement offers this year to resolve more of these remaining claims.

February 22, 2022 Update: Roundup lawyers are increasingly looking to press forward with claims in state court. Roundup lawsuits are increasingly being filed in state courts and plaintiffs' attorneys have been asking Judge Vince Chhabria to remand more cases back to state court. Too many Roundup victims have been waiting too long to get a trial date. Hopefully, more Roundup cancer lawsuits in state court will bring more timely justice.

February 17, 2022 Update: It is satisfying that Bayer's investors are blaming Bayer in a new class action lawsuit for deceiving investors on the NHL risk associated with Roundup. While Bayer knew that Roundup was even more dangerous than glyphosate, Bayer's CEO said on a conference call with investors that “there is no difference” between glyphosate and the Roundup formulation. It is hard to get excited by the investor lawsuit that is not about Roundup causing cancer and killing people but instead is about Round causing cancer and killing people which costs the investors money. But the enemy of my enemy. This Roundup lawsuit could also take another crack at pre-trial discovery of what Bayer knew about the harm caused by this weed killer.

February 3, 2022 Update: Bayer has reached a settlement on yet another Roundup class action lawsuit. Bayer agreed to a settlement amount between $23 million and $45 million to resolve a Roundup weed killer class action lawsuit that alleged that consumers have paid too much for Roundup because Bayer/Monsanto did not inform consumers of the cancer risk associated with this weed killer.

Why does this settlement matter? The payout is not large. But it is another sign that Bayer may be getting closer to throwing in the towel in the Roundup litigation and might be more amenable to a global settlement to resolve the remaining cancer lawsuits against it.

January 3, 2022 Update: There are now 3,989 lawsuits pending in the MDL class action lawsuit in California. An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Roundup lawsuits remain throughout the country, many of which are in state court

... GO TO Latest Roundup Lawsuit Update TO READ MORE

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