Monsanto is now facing a Roundup class action lawsuit that is calling for resolution on the prevailing question about the connection between the weed killer’s active ingredient, glyphosate, and cancer. The claim asserts that this resolution is critical to saving hundreds of thousands of hours of court time and resources investigating claims from individuals who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma following Roundup exposure.
Robert Ramirez filed the Roundup class action complaint this past month in the Northern District of California. Ramirez developed Double Expressor Large B-Cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2018. He alleges that exposure to a concentrated mix of Roundup at work from 1999 to 2013 caused his cancer.
Ramirez’s cancer is in remission. However, he will require a colostomy bag and regular cancer screenings for the rest of his life.
Ramirez is seeking class action status. But his allegations are inherently similar to those in more than 13,500 Roundup lawsuits. Across the country, farmers, landscapers and consumers are alleging that Monsanto deliberately failed to warn about Roundup’s risks of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers.
Monsanto continues to claim that independent researchers like the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) are wrong in their findings that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. The agrochemical behemoth points to regulators in the U.S. and Europe who have found the herbicide to be safe. However, internal Monsanto memos show that the company exerted a great deal of influence on these findings and even wrote key portions of the regulator reviews itself.
So far, the first two Roundup trials ended in sizable victories for the plaintiffs with juries ruling that Roundup caused the plaintiffs’ cancers and that Monsanto actively withheld safety information.
This past August, the first California state trial ended in a $78 million verdict for a former school groundskeeper. This past month, a federal jury returned with an $80 million verdict for the plaintiff.
Roundup Class Action Request for Resolution
Ramirez is calling for the federal court to make a final determination on whether Roundup causes cancer which would resolve a significant portion of thousands of claims.
“In seeking resolution of the general causation component contained in almost every state’s product liability laws, the only remaining issue that all class members and the Plaintiff will need to show is that they have NHL due to exposure to Roundup and the amount of damages due to that plaintiff,” Ramirez's claim states. “Under the Plaintiff’s plan, the only issue that those with NHL and proof of exposure to Roundup will have to prove is the specific link and the specific damages suffered by the class member. If allowed to proceed in this fashion, the Plaintiff will have provided significant and meaningful benefit to the class members in one proceeding.”
In April, the District Judge presiding over the entirely of the federal litigation canceled an upcoming bellwether trial set for June, ordering parties to enter into settlement discussions to resolve the litigation.
If Monsanto and Bayer fail to reach any Roundup settlements, the companies could face staggering liabilities in courts nationwide.