California Lawsuit Alleges Monsanto Hid Roundup Ingredient Cancer Danger
August 2018 Update: California Jury Orders Monsanto to pay $289 million to Groundskeeper
On Aug. 10, a California Superior Court jury deliberated for two and a half days before finding that school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma was in part due to using glyphosate—the active ingredient in Roundup. The jury ordered Monsanto to pay Johnson $289 million.
Johnson regularly used glyphosate to spray fields while working as a groundskeeper at a California school. During his time as a groundskeeper, he applied the weed killer up to 30 times per year as part of his work duties. He mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of the chemical. Doctors testified that the 46-year-old Bay-area man will live past 2020.
Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos said in court that Monsanto “acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct.”
Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said in a statement that while it is sympathetic to Johnson and his family, the company will appeal the court’s decision. The statement mentions more than 800 scientific studies and reviews, in addition to conclusions from the U.S. EPA.
There are still hundreds of lawsuits pending against Monsanto, claiming that Roundup causes cancer. All of these cases received the green light to proceed, despite the company’s insistence that its product is safe.
Landmark California Case Shines Light on Dangerous Roundup Ingredient
A 46-year-old California groundskeeper will make history when he becomes the first person to take the global seed and chemical company, Monsanto to court on June 18. His suit alleges the company suppressed evidence Roundup ingredient, glyphosate, is responsible for causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer. Of more than 400 lawsuits with similar complaints pending against Monsanto, DeWayne Johnson’s case will be the first to be heard by a judge.
Johnson’s landmark case comes after experts and health organizations have spent decades researching whether or not Roundup ingredient, glyphosate, is a carcinogen. Further glyphosate is Roundup’s active ingredient. Johnson, alleges that in addition to the company’s product being the cause of his cancer, it also knew about and actively worked to suppress evidence that links Roundup to non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
The case received a major boost after Judge Curtis Karnow issued an order that required a jury to consider both scientific evidence related to what caused Johnson’s cancer and allegations that Monsanto suppressed evidence of risks associated with its weed-killing products.
Johnson’s suit alleges, Monsanto “championed falsified data and attacked legitimate studies” that revealed real dangers of its herbicides. Additionally, the suit states that the company led a “prolonged campaign of misinformation” to convince government agencies, farmers and consumers that Roundup was safe.
Monsanto Denies the Allegations
The company says its products are not the cause of cancer and the findings of the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) findings—which resulted in glyphosate being designated a class 2A carcinogen—are wrong. Monsanto points to findings from the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory authorities to back its claims.
“Glyphosate-based herbicides are supported by one of the most extensive worldwide human health and environmental effects databases ever compiled for a pesticide product. Comprehensive toxicological and environmental fate studies conducted over the last 40 years have time and again demonstrated the strong safety profile of this widely used herbicide,” the company said in a July 2016 report, titled “Benefits and Safety of Glyphosate”. The report continues, “[g]lyphosate exhibits low toxicity to humans and non-plant wildlife over both short- and long-term exposures. It does not cancer and it is not an endocrine disruptor.”
Nearly 4,000 plaintiffs have made similar claims against Monsanto in state courts. The suits were filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco filed by people alleging that exposure to Roundup ingredient glyphosate is responsible for the Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma that they or their loved ones developed.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You
The Carlson Law Firm represents clients from all 50 states who are dealing with the effects of workplace cancer. If you, or someone you love, was injured by cancer caused by an exposure to toxic chemicals, it is in your best interest to contact the experienced Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers on our team immediately. As always, an initial consultation with our firm is always free.
As a nationally recognized law firm, we have the resources to help you against large companies. We care. We can help.
- Written by Kazia Conway