Well over 100,000 lawsuits have been filed against the company Bayer and the now-defunct Monsanto as a result of a connection between exposure to the product and the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a type of cancer that originates in the white blood cells that are a part of the body’s immune system.
Has anyone won a roundup lawsuit? As of this writing, around 80 percent of those lawsuits have been settled, with around 30,000 pending. Many claimants who entered settlements have already received their settlement proceeds, and others expect to receive theirs within the coming months.
However, individuals who recently were diagnosed with NHL after experiencing exposure to the popular herbicide and have not yet filed a claim for compensation still have the opportunity to do so, as Bayer was required to develop a fund to pay for future claims.
How long future Roundup claims will take to settle depends on several factors, including the claim’s value (higher-valued claims generally take longer to settle) and whether the claim is or becomes part of multi-district litigation. Most claimants in past cases have received a settlement within two to three years. learn more about your claim from our roundup lawsuit lawyers.
Table of Contents
- Roundup Claimants Already Recovered Around $11 Billion
- Around 30,000 Claims Remain Unsettled
- Roundup Lawsuits Can Still Be Filed
Roundup Claimants Already Recovered Around $11 Billion
In 2018, the first lawsuit was filed against Monsanto by a California school groundskeeper who developed NHL after using Roundup regularly for years. His lawyers successfully showed that this repeated exposure to glyphosate was the cause of his cancer. The jury did not find that the use of Roundup caused cancer but rather that the company failed to warn the claimant that the use of the product could result in cancer. This failure to warn resulted in the award of $300,000 in damages to the claimant.
Following that successful claim, two other high-profile cases resulted in significant awards, including a $2 billion award for an individual regularly exposed to Roundup for more than 30 years. That award was later reduced on appeal to $86.7 million. More than 100,000 claims have already settled, resulting in more than $11 billion as of May, 2022. Bayer, who acquired Monsanto in 2018, proposed settling all remaining pending claims in 2020 for nearly $11 billion and providing an additional $1.25 billion for future claims.
Around 30,000 Claims Remain Unsettled
In May 2022, there were still around 30,000 lawsuits pending, including 4,000 cases involved in multi-district litigation (MDL) in California. MDL involves several cases that involve common questions of fact that are joined together and placed under a single jurisdiction for the pretrial proceedings, allowing the claimants to share expert testimony and obtain the same evidence through discovery though the cases remain separate. After the discovery phase has ended, all cases that have not been settled will return to their original jurisdiction for trial.
Roundup Lawsuits Can Still Be Filed
Is it too late to file a roundup claim? NO! Roundup has not been recalled, though Bayer announced in 2021, as part of its five-point plan to end Roundup litigation, that it would be replacing the glyphosate-containing product in the U.S. lawn and garden market with alternative formulations beginning in 2023.
“We are taking this action exclusively to manage litigation risk and not because of any safety concerns,” the corporation noted. “The vast majority of claims have come from residential L&G users, so this action largely eliminates the primary source of future claims.”
Who Can File a Roundup Lawsuit?
Some of the general criteria for being eligible to file a Roundup lawsuit include:
- Frequent exposure to glyphosate (Roundup) for an extended period. Glyphosate is an herbicide used to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. It was first introduced in the U.S. in 1974 and quickly became the most widely used weed killer on the market, used both in industrial or agricultural processes and by ordinary consumers for their lawns and gardens.
- A diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. NHL produces symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck, or groin; abdominal pain or swelling; chest pain or difficulty breathing; fever and night sweats; and unexplained weight loss.
Cancer is not a condition that develops instantly after exposure to a toxic substance. Instead, there is a time that passes between exposure and the presentation of symptoms. This is known as the latency period. Generally, NHL caused by exposure to glyphosate will appear at least five years after the initial exposure and can even appear decades after the exposure. Because of the latency period, an NHL diagnosis within a short period after exposure to Roundup will likely not be linked to that exposure.
Who Are the Defendants?
In most cases, compensation is being sought from Bayer, who acquired Monsanto Chemical Company and began offering Roundup to consumers in 1974. In 1996, a company called Asgrow began releasing genetically altered Roundup-ready soybeans that made them resistant to the herbicide, which allowed farmers to use more of it without harming their crops. A year later, Monsanto acquired Asgrow and began offering additional Roundup-ready, genetically modified seeds, including cotton, canola, corn, alfalfa, and sugar beets.
Plaintiffs filed the first Roundup lawsuits in 2016 against Monsanto, as it remained the owner and manufacturer of the product. When Bayer acquired Monsanto, it also acquired the responsibility to ensure that the product is reasonably safe when used according to labeled instructions and to warn consumers of the risks involved in using the products.
In some cases, claimants also seek compensation from their employer for NHL resulting from occupational exposure to Roundup. It is important to discuss with your attorney the option of seeking compensation from an employer whose negligence led to your Roundup exposure.
Why You Need an Attorney For Your Claim
Personal injury law is a wide umbrella of different types of cases in which someone’s negligence causes the injury or death of another person. One of the types of claims under this wide umbrella is product defects, including defective foods, medicines, and other products such as automobile parts, electric appliances, children’s toys, and more. Roundup lawsuits are product defect claims that the product’s manufacturer failed to warn consumers of the dangers of using the product.
Product defect lawsuits are extremely complex, not just due to the difficulty of showing a direct link between the hazard posed by the manufacturer’s negligence but by the fact that these claims are generally filed against global corporations with deep pockets and the ability to fight the claims. Bayer, for example, has appealed several Roundup court awards and has even attempted to take its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case in 2022.
Personal injury lawyers have a crucial role in Roundup lawsuits as they can provide guidance and experience to their clients and have a legal team available to gather significant medical documentation and other information necessary to prove the claim. Lawyers with experience in multi-district litigation are also important. These cases sometimes become MDLs to relieve the burden on the court system presented by many claims with the same basic facts and provide an equal opportunity for all claimants to receive the same evidence.
Some of the types of services an attorney can provide with your Roundup claim include:
- Establishing a value to your claim. Your claim’s value isn’t just the sum of the medical expenses you incurred due to your diagnosis. Other expenses, such as wage loss and lost earning capacity, are also added into the calculation, as well as an amount to compensate you for the psychological impacts of your illness, such as physical pain and suffering and emotional distress.
- Gathering the evidence needed to prove your claim, including proof that you were regularly exposed to Roundup, evidence to establish where and how that exposure occurred, and medical documentation of your illness and the treatments you received. Learn more about the proof you need for your roundup claim from our experienced legal staff.
- Filing your claim in court. While there is still the ability to file a claim against Bayer for your Roundup-caused NHL, it is important to note that there is a deadline placed on the amount of time you have to file your claim as a lawsuit. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations and varies depending on your state. For example, in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date you first became aware that you had developed NHL due to your Roundup exposure. In Florida, the personal injury statute of limitations is four years from the date you were aware of your Roundup-associated illness. Failing to meet this statute of limitations will generally result in losing the ability to seek compensation through the court. This will almost always result in the inability to obtain a settlement as well, since companies generally settle claims to avoid litigation expenses and uncertainty.
- Negotiating a settlement. As mentioned, around 80 percent of the lawsuits against Monsanto and Bayer have been resolved through settlement. Your attorney presents the claim to the company, who can choose to offer a settlement. If the amount offered is insufficient to fairly compensate you for your financial losses and psychological impacts, your attorney can—in some cases—negotiate to get the company to increase its offer.
- Litigation. If your claim is not resolved by settlement before your scheduled trial date arrives, your attorney will present your case to the court so they can make decisions pertaining to liability and compensation.
- Collecting your settlement or court award and continued representation if an appeal of a court decision is filed
Affording an Experienced Attorney to Help You With Your Roundup Claim
According to a study, frequent exposure to glyphosate—the most widely used broad-spectrum systemic herbicide—can increase the risk of an individual developing NHL by 41 percent.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that people spray around 280 million pounds of Roundup on U.S. crops each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently noted that as much as 80 percent of U.S. residents have traces of glyphosate in their urine. Many people have incurred a dangerous level of exposure but will not know it until they’re later diagnosed with NHL.
Among this group, many will avoid filing a claim because they don’t think they can afford an attorney. However, the billing method used by attorneys assisting those injured due to Roundup exposure ensures that anyone who needs legal assistance with their claim has access to it.
Personal injury attorneys—such as those working on Roundup claims—are permitted to use a contingent fee billing method. With this method, claimants can wait to pay for their attorney’s services until a negotiated settlement or court award has compensated their claim.
A contingent fee agreement is entered into by the claimant and their attorney when they agree to begin working together on the claim. This agreement spells out the details of the services that will be provided to the claimant and designates a percentage of the settlement or award to be received by the attorney for payment of their services. The attorney and their legal team can begin working on the claim immediately without needing an upfront payment and can continue working on the claim without the claimant receiving a bill.
After the case, the proceeds of the settlement or award are sent to the attorney. The attorney places the funds in a trust account. From that trust, they settle any medical liens placed on the award and deduct the amount due to them as payment for their services. They will then meet with their client to sign documents to finalize the case and will provide the client with their compensation.