Mother Files Lawsuit Claiming Child’s Cancer Due to Exposure to Roundup Weedkiller
Destiny Clark has filed a lawsuit against the makers of Roundup, claiming that the popular weedkiller product caused her son’s cancer. International Business Times reports that Clark’s son, Ezra Clark, was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma in February 2016. Ezra was four years old at the time.
According to Clark’s complaint, had she known about the herbicide’s health risks, she never would have used Roundup. In her complaint, Clark says that she sprayed her property with Roundup and that Ezra was directly exposed to the herbicide.
She alleges that Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, knew for decades about the link between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Glyphosate is the main active ingredient in Monsanto’s weedkiller. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the substance as a “probable carcinogen.”
The Bayer-Roundup Connection
Bayer now owns the U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto, and Clark’s lawsuit aims to hold the giant pharmaceutical and life sciences company accountable. The plaintiff accuses Bayer of failing to study the carcinogenic effects of glyphosate and other ingredients sufficiently.
Since purchasing Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, Bayer has been plagued with legal troubles stemming from Roundup. As a result, the German company announced in July 2021 that it was earmarking $4.5 billion on top of the already $11.6 billion it had set aside earlier for settlements and litigation in lawsuits related to their popular herbicide, according to Insurance Journal.
In June of 2020, Courthouse News reported that Bayer agreed to pay $10 billion to resolve around 75 percent of the Roundup claims filed by individuals who blame their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis on their use of the weedkiller. Each current plaintiff would receive different portions of $8.8 to $9.6 billion, while the remainder of the $10 billion would be used to settle future litigation.
About Burkitt Lymphoma
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) describes Burkitt’s lymphoma as a fast-growing type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system. This system serves as the body’s defense against germs. In a case of NHL, the body’s white blood cells begin to grow abnormally, forming tumors in the body.
Cancer cells form in the lymph system and affect the central nervous system, jaw, kidneys, bowel, ovaries, and other organs. The disease sometimes spreads to the spinal cord, brain, and bone marrow. According to Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of NHL include:
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin, armpits, or neck
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Pain in the abdomen
- Coughing, difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Persistent fatigue
- Weight loss that cannot be explained
- Night sweats
According to the American Cancer Society, treatment of stage I and stage II Burkitt lymphomas tends to succeed with a long-term survival rate that exceeds 90 percent.