Should You File a Lawsuit Against Monsanto for Cancer Caused by Roundup?

by on Nov. 26, 2018

Accident & Injury Products Liability 

Summary: The chemical company Monsanto, owned by Bayer, AG, makes and sells the herbicide Roundup. There are disputed claims that the weed-killing spray causes cancer. A recent California case was successful for a plaintiff claiming he is terminally ill with lymphoma because of his on-the-job use of Roundup. If you’ve used Roundup and have been diagnosed with cancer, should you consider filing a lawsuit, too?

A California jury decided in August that Monsanto is liable for causing DeWayne Johnson’s cancer. The company was ordered to pay $289 million ($39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages) to Johnson, reports Reuters. The judge in the case ruled in October that damages had to be reduced to $78.5 million.


Johnson’s case is the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate (the world’s most widely used herbicide and an ingredient of Roundup) causes cancer. It’s estimated there are more than 5,000 similar lawsuits pending across the country. Monsanto stated it would appeal the Johnson verdict. If you believe you've suffered negative health affects from exposure to Roundup, consult with an experienced attorney. 


Disputed claims of cancer causation


The company claims scientific studies show glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer. The Johnsons' attorneys used as evidence internal company documents allegedly showing Monsanto knew for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer.


Not only are there differing views in the courtroom on the connection between glyphosate and cancer, but government bodies are at odds, too. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2017 concluded that the chemical isn’t likely to cause cancer. But the World Health Organization in 2015 stated that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”


Things to think about


If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and used Roundup in the past, here are some things to think about if you’re considering filing a legal action:


  • A plaintiff has the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit. You would need to show that you were exposed to Roundup and that it caused your cancer.
  • What kind of cancer do you have? There are more than 200 types. Depending on your diagnosis, there may be little or no scientific studies showing a link between glyphosate and your type of cancer.
  • Your cancer may have had any number of possible causes. Monsanto may show that your family history of cancer, lifestyle choices or exposure to other substances is a more likely explanation.
  • How much Roundup were you exposed to? Did you spray it on occasion around your yard, or were you regularly exposed to large amounts of it? The less the exposure, the harder it will be to prove your claim.
  • Juries are unpredictable. They may be very sympathetic to your case; or they may think you are filing a lawsuit just to obtain money for no good reason.
  • Monsanto, given its potential financial exposure, is strongly defending these claims. Litigation could take years and require a lot of time and energy from you. At times, the process could be very stressful.


Lawsuits are based on facts


Whether or not you might have a strong case against Monsanto alleging your exposure to Roundup caused your cancer depends on the facts of your particular situation. How motivated you are to start a legal action is up to you. If a Roundup lawsuit is something you’re thinking about, contact an Roundup lawsuit attorney you would trust with a complex, difficult case. Ask questions, have an open mind, and decide for yourself if a lawsuit would be right for you.

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