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February 12, 2019

Monsanto Must Take Dying Man’s Roundup Deposition

The court overseeing the federal Roundup multidistrict litigation (MDL) has granted a dying man’s request for an early trial and ordered Monsanto to take his Roundup deposition immediately to preserve his testimony due to his failing health from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from exposure to the popular weed killer.

Currently, there are nearly 10,000 product liability Roundup lawsuits pending throughout the nation’s court systems. Plaintiffs allege that Monsanto actively hid the connection between its popular weed killer and cancer to protect its market share.

About 600 cases are pending in the federal MDL in the Northern District of California before District Judge Vince Chhabria. As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings, Judge Chhabria selected three lawsuits that were originally filed in the Northern District of California to be part of a bellwether trial program. These early test trials help parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to evidence that appears throughout the litigation. The court has scheduled the first bellwether trial to begin later this month.

roundup deposition

flickr/Rob Kall

Round Deposition Background

In November 2018, plaintiff Emmanual Richard Giglio requested the court to give his case preference for trial or to remand his case back to the Southern District of California since he is dying. He may not live long enough to even see the outcome of the first round of bellwether trials.

This past week, Judge Chhabria issued a pretrial order, indicating that the court will include Giglio’s claim as part of the second group of bellwether trials. The order also mandates that Monsanto must take Giglio’s Roundup deposition by March 6. The court will determine the schedule for the second group of trials following the conclusion of the first bellwether trial which begins February 25.

Monsanto is also facing around a half-dozen state court trials nationwide over the next year. California state court granted a husband and wife who are both dying from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after exposure to Roundup an early trial date. Their case goes before a jury in March. Also, a series of Missouri trials will begin in 2019, including a multi-plaintiff trial with more than 15 different individuals with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to go before a jury in October.

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