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On May 26, U.S. District Judge Vincent Chhabria rejected a $2 billion settlement proposed by Bayer-Monsanto to reign in future lawsuits over its deadly product, Roundup—saying the proposed settlement was “clearly unreasonable” and could not be salvaged by “mere tweaks.”
The proposed settlement stems from thousands of lawsuits filed against the company alleging that Roundup gave them non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)—a potentially deadly blood cancer.
Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, has long been classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The most serious side effect from exposure to glyphosate is the development of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
What was Bayer-Monsanto’s proposed settlement plan?
Essentially, the settlement would’ve created a fund and medical monitoring program for people divided into the following two groups:
- The first group would consist of Roundup users who were diagnosed with NHL but had not yet sued the company or hired a lawyer.
- The second group would have been made up of people who used Roundup before February 2021 but were not diagnosed with NHL.
From there, the proposed settlement would have offered a medical monitoring program that would be available for roughly four years. Next, the settlement allotted a compensation fund designed to last four years. Anyone diagnosed with NHL during that four-year period could make a claim to the fund and receive anywhere between $10,000 and $60,000 (and in rare cases up to $200,000).
To get these so-called benefits, the proposed agreement would require serious concessions for future plaintiffs:
- Prevent injured victims and their families from seeking punitive damages in future lawsuits if they choose to opt-out of the fund.
- Required the admission of the opinion of a seven-member science panel about whether Roundup can cause NHL in future trials.
Judge Chhabria noted that victims should be able to seek punitive damages if Bayer-Monsanto insists on selling Roundup without any warning labels.
Why did the judge reject the plan?
In his ruling, Judge Chhabria found the settlement offer to be unfairly in favor of Bayer-Monsanto based on the science presented before the court.
For example, Judge Chhabria noted that experts who testified in the trial for Ramirez, et al. Monsanto Co. has a long latency period—particularly when caused by something like an herbicide. In the trial, experts testified to the following:
- It takes 10 or 15 years after exposure before developing the NHL.
- NHL is primarily found in older people, more than half of the people with the disease are diagnosed after age 65.
- Doctors, generally, cannot perform tests on patients to detect NHL before they start to experience symptoms.
The proposed settlement offers a four-year period that would provide medical monitoring and compensation to those diagnosed with NHL within that brief window. Considering NHL’s long latency period, people who don’t find out their diagnosis would not be able to collect the true value of their claim or injuries.
How did Bayer-Monsanto react to Judge Chhabria’s ruling?
After the judge’s denial, the massive corporation said it would look into other ways to limit Roundup lawsuits.
“We have legal and commercial options that together will achieve a similar result in mitigating future litigation risk, and we will pursue them as quickly as possible,” Bayer said in a statement after the judge’s decision.
There are currently around 30,000 ongoing Roundup claims that the company is hoping to settle as quickly as possible.
Additionally, Bayer-Monsanto is seeking authorization from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put a warning label on Roundup to inform consumers about the products’ link to the NHL.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Judge Chhabria rejecting the $2 billion Roundup settlement plan is good news for both current and future plaintiffs. In short, it means that they will be able to pursue Bayer-Monsanto for the true value of their injuries. The Roundup Lawsuit Attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm is representing clients diagnosed with cancer after Roundup use. If you or a loved one is living with or passed away from Roundup-related cancer, contact us to find out how we can help. Our Roundup Lawsuit Attorneys can be reached at 800-359-5690.