RoundUp Lawsuit: Everything You Need To Know
In 2016, groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson filed a lawsuit against the makers of Roundup, alleging that because of prolonged exposure, he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The final verdict awarded Johnson $289 million.
For years, both Monsanto and Bayer have known that Roundup contains a chemical called glyphosate, a “probable carcinogen,” according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Right now, thousands of cases are unfolding against Monsanto and Bayer, saying that because they allowed a dangerous product to reach consumers, they should pay for claimants’ losses.
If you or a loved one developed a health condition after using glyphosate based herbicides like Roundup, you could join a mass tort to seek compensation. Going up a billion-dollar company is no easy feat, however. For that reason, you may consider partnering with our network of mass tort lawsuit lawyers for your Roundup lawsuit.
Did Monsanto know about Roundup’s harmful effects?
During Dewayne Lee Johnson’s court case, a document known as the “Monsanto Papers” came to light. It revealed that Monsanto did know that Roundup was harmful, and they went to great lengths to conceal this fact from the public.
This involved hiring third-party “ghostwriters” and hiding information behind the curtain of “proprietary trade information.”
What is Roundup?
Roundup was created in the 1970s with one purpose: to control unwanted plant and weed growth using a chemical called glyphosate. The product was a huge success, selling over 9.4 million tons since its conception.
There’s only one problem: glyphosate can cause cancer. Monsanto, the creator of the product, did not warn consumers about this risk. Nor did Bayer, which acquired the product in 2018.
How can Roundup cause cancer?
Let’s back up for a minute and talk about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This cancer occurs when the body produces an abnormal amount of white blood cells. When exposed to glyphosate, either through direct contact, inhalation, or consumption, the chemicals in this substance can disrupt the body’s normal function.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that glyphosate is everywhere, including in our food, water supply, and commercial areas. With prolonged exposure, however, this chemical causes serious health effects.
Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research notes that glyphosate can increase the cancer risk by nearly 41 percent.
Can Roundup cause other health conditions?
Cancer is among the biggest concerns when it comes to Roundup exposure. However, exposure can also cause these conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Early-onset dementia
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Fatty liver disease
- Internal organ damage, particularly to the kidneys and liver
- Hormonal problems
- Skin irritation, scarring, and discoloration
If you’re not sure whether you developed an adverse health condition because of Roundup, talk to your healthcare provider.
What is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Mayo Clinic reports that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma starts with the immune system. When your body starts producing an abnormal amount of white blood cells, tumors can form. Depending on the location of these tumors, this type of cancer can be fatal.
The American Cancer Society notes that 72 percent of patients can make a full recovery within five years with treatment. However, even with a full recovery, a patient can suffer from lifelong health effects. The remaining 28 percent lose their lives.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma includes multiple “subtypes”
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society places Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma into different categories, depending on the progression of the disease and what cells are affected. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can affect T-cells, B-cells, and NK cells. The condition is either indolent, meaning that the cancer progresses slowly, or aggressive, meaning that it progresses quickly.
Some examples of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:
- Follicular lymphoma
- Mantle cell lymphoma
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
- Primary central nervous system lymphoma
- Nodal marginal zone lymphoma
- Lymphoblastic lymphoma
What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Symptoms of this life-threatening cancer include:
- Swollen lymph nodes, groin, armpits, or joints
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Night sweats
- Trouble sleeping
- Abdominal pain
Medical professionals diagnose this condition through imaging scans, blood tests, and physical examinations. The sooner they detect this illness, the sooner they can administer treatment. You may have developed other forms of cancer like Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Who was exposed to Roundup?
Roundup is available for personal and commercial use. Nasdaq reports that in 2015, Monsanto made over 30 percent of its profits from Roundup. This information asserts that Roundup reached a wide range of consumers.
The following parties may have suffered Roundup exposure:
- Landscape architects
- Agricultural workers and farmers
- Nursery employees
You don’t have to fit into these categories to have a viable class action or mass tort lawsuit.
Who can file a Roundup lawsuit?
Many believe that Roundup causes cancer. The World Health Organization has also classified it as a carcinogen. You could be concerned because you or a family member used the product. The following parties can file lawsuits against the makers of Roundup:
- Individuals. If you developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another ailment after Roundup exposure, you could file a lawsuit. While many claimants have filed individual lawsuits against Bayer and Monsanto, some partake in mass torts, which allow multiple claimants to file a unified case against an entity.
- Beneficiaries. If you lost a loved one to cancer due to Roundup exposure, you could file a lawsuit on behalf of a late loved one. Your eligibility largely depends on where you live; not all family members have the inherent ability to file wrongful death lawsuits.
- Estate representatives. If you’re a decedent’s personal representative, you can file a lawsuit on behalf of their loved ones. Again, this depends on where you live, and personal representatives aren’t necessarily family members.
What goes into filing a Roundup lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit is not easy––even if it’s against a small company. When going up against an international, multi-billion-dollar company like Bayer AG, you might consider working with our lawyers. Your lawyer can determine whether your case should be filed individually or as part of a mass tort.
You need evidence to prove your case
Your case must prove one thing: you suffered adverse side effects because you used or were exposed to Roundup. The judge and jury won’t take your word for it, though; you must present evidence that substantiates your claim.
Supporting evidence in your case may include:
- Your medical records. These documents show your diagnosis, prognosis, and required treatments.
- Testimony from your doctor. In addition to your medical records, we can use a written statement from your doctor attesting to certain aspects of your condition, including its probable cause and severity. The symptoms you develop because of your exposure to Roundup (and the glyphosate in it) are incredibly important as well.
- Proof of purchase statements. You must prove that you used Roundup to have a Roundup lawsuit. To prove that you used Roundup, you could use receipts, pictures of the container, or information from your employer. This will also give your legal team an estimate of when you were exposed.
- Proof of your expenses. Your medical bills, employment records, and personal testimony can help your lawyer calculate the cost of your injury-related damages.
Your lawyer may utilize other forms of evidence than those listed here. They will likely encourage you to keep all documentation about your case until its conclusion.
You must file your personal injury lawsuit within a specific time frame
Every civil case comes with a firm deadline. This deadline is known as the “statute of limitations.” Your case’s deadline depends on a variety of things, including:
- Where you live. Each state has its own filing deadline for civil suits. Some states, like Tennessee, give you a year to file your case. Other states, like Maine, grant you six years to file.
- When you discovered your condition. Some states have something called the “discovery rule.” For instance, suppose you used Roundup in March 2019 but were not diagnosed with cancer until March 2020. Because you could not have known about your condition until receiving a diagnosis, you could have from the date you discovered your ailment to file.
- Whether you lost a loved one. Some states have different filing deadlines for different types of cases. So, if a state sets its product liability deadline at three years and its wrongful death deadline at two years, the latter could apply to your case.
- Your age. If you were exposed to Roundup as a minor and developed cancer, your filing deadline generally begins when you turn 18. This varies per state.
You must file your case to the appropriate court
Filing a lawsuit against Bayer isn’t the same as going to your local courthouse and pursuing legal action there. You must overcome many hurdles to ensure your case is filed on time, accurately, and completely.
Your lawyer can examine your case and file under state and federal laws.
Do all Roundup claimants have to file lawsuits?
Right now, over 28,000 claimants have filed or joined in lawsuits against Bayer and Monsanto. A good portion of these cases are either pending or have resulted in multi-million-dollar court awards.
Filing a lawsuit may seem intimidating, but it could be your only avenue of seeking damages. In the future, as more people come forward, Bayer may resolve these cases through settlements. This would not involve going to court but rather, filing claims.
Has anyone won a lawsuit against Roundup?
Reuters reports that as of May 2021, there are 30,000 active claims against Roundup. These individuals claim that they developed cancer and deserve compensation because Bayer allowed a dangerous product to reach the market.
In June 2021, Bayer resolved to spend $9.6 billion to settle 125,000 claims and lawsuits. This monetary amount and the number of claimants may increase over time.
Some successful lawsuits against Roundup resulted in:
- $2 billion for a couple that used Roundup for over 30 years
- A $289 million verdict for a groundskeeper who developed terminal cancer
- $80 million verdict for a man who used Roundup for 20 years
What’s the difference between an individual lawsuit and mass tort litigation?
The main difference between an individual lawsuit and a mass tort is the amount of people involved. When one person has been harmed, they may file their own lawsuit and seek damages. When multiple people suffer harm from one act, they can “join forces” and file a mass tort.
What is the benefit of mass tort litigation?
The short answer is cost.
The long answer is that massive corporations have many resources to refute plaintiffs’ claims. These entities have access to field experts, scientific testing, and certain documents that the average person would not. The cost of hiring just one expert could put you in dire financial straits.
With a mass tort:
- You share resources with other injured claimants and their legal teams.
- Some mass torts allow more leniency than individual lawsuits. For instance, you could file alongside other claimants in different states.
- There’s strength in numbers. It’s harder for a corporation to deny thousands of similar claims than one single claim.
What’s better for me: an individual lawsuit or a mass tort?
We can’t answer this question without better understanding your situation. When you partner with a lawyer from our network, they will assess your case and determine a course of legal action. Whether to file an individual lawsuit or mass tort may depend on:
- Your age
- The severity of your condition
- The evidence that supports your case
- The cost of your damages
- Whether you lost a loved one
- The circumstances of your exposure
You could recover these types of damages from a successful Roundup lawsuit
Compensation should account for the full scope of your injury-related losses. The damages you seek might be different from someone else’s, even if they have a similar condition. You could recover:
Economic damages (or financial losses)
Economic damages in your case may include:
- Medical bills, including chemotherapy, imaging scans, hospitalization, blood tests, and doctor’s appointments
- Lost income, tips, bonuses, commissions, freelance contracts, performances, and employee benefits, such as paid time off (PTO)
- Reduced future earning capacity, if your condition prevented you from making your regular income
- Assistive medical devices, including oxygen tanks, respirators, and wheelchairs
- Funeral expenses, including burial, cremation, and the urn/burial plot
Non-economic damages (or non-financial losses)
Non-economic damages do not refer to your monetary losses. Instead, it pays for the emotional and physical hardship of developing cancer. Some examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring (if your condition affects your appearance)
- Loss of consortium, parental guidance, and household benefits
What are punitive damages?
Based on legal precedent, it appears as though Roundup lawsuits are yielding something known as “punitive damages.” These damages don’t compensate injured claimants. Rather, they punish the defendant for their egregious conduct.
In one of the cases mentioned above, a groundskeeper secured a $289 million verdict. Of those damages, $250 million was set aside as punitive damages. Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos, who oversaw the proceedings, told USA Today that Monsanto: “acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct.”
How much money can I get from a Bayer or Monsanto Roundup lawsuit?
The value of your damages rests on many aspects of your situation, including:
- Your ability to work
- How your condition affected (or affects) your life
- The value of your medical bills, lost income, and other financial losses
- How long you used Roundup and the degree of your exposure
- Your age
- If and when you will recover
Your lawyer will fight for the full cost of your past, present, and future losses. However, they will need to review your situation to estimate the value of your case.
If I win my case, how will I get paid?
The intimate details surrounding claimants’ payouts are confidential. However, for most civil cases, compensation is paid out in one of two ways:
- A lump sum. When your case ends, the liable party might pay for your losses all at once. Your attorney will likely draw their fees from this award as payment for their help, so you pay nothing out of pocket.
- A structured settlement. Instead of paying you all at once, you might receive scheduled payments until you’ve received the full sum.
Your lawyer can explain in more detail how compensation is distributed in your case.
Commonly asked questions about Roundup lawsuits
You could spend all day reading about Roundup weed killer lawsuits in the United States and around the world. Every day, the press releases new information about Bayer, Monsanto, and the current civil proceedings. We’ve compiled six of the most commonly asked questions regarding these cases:
How long will my case take?
We’re not sure how long your individual case will take, but consider the following:
- Dewayne Lee Johnson, the groundskeeper who secured a multi-million-dollar verdict, filed his lawsuit in 2016 against Monsanto, which owned Roundup at the time of his cancer diagnosis.
- His case was “fast-tracked” because doctors said it was unlikely he would live past 2020, per Reuters.
- His case was resolved in 2018. He passed away two years later, in January 2020.
The progression of your case depends on various aspects of your situation.
How long did my Roundup exposure need to last?
Scientists are still unsure about this. The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) conducted a study about glyphosate in 2011. It tested the urine samples of family farmers who used Roundup in both South Carolina and Minnesota.
The workers’ urine samples tested for elevated levels of glyphosate. While this implies that prolonged use could result in adverse health effects, there’s little information available about short-term exposure.
What should I do if Roundup caused my health condition?
Even though Roundup was not recalled, for your health and safety, we encourage you to stop using it. Take pictures of the bottle, bar code, and label, as this can prove you used the product.
You should also:
- Visit a healthcare provider. During your visit, get copies of your imaging scans, treatment details, and medication names.
- Document your losses. Your lawyer needs evidence to calculate your losses. Keep your medical bills, receipts, and invoices in a safe place. Additionally, keep a journal regarding your mental and physical health. This information can prove the value of your pain and suffering.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Roundup’s lawyers will look for any reason to dispute your case. If you fail to follow through with treatment, they could argue that you caused your condition, and their product is not responsible. Check with your doctor first before discontinuing any medications or treatment regimens.
- Limit what you say online. Do not share the details of your case online. Roundup’s lawyers could access these posts and use them against you. You should also avoid accepting friend requests from strangers, posting on online forums, and privately messaging other litigants.
Do I have to work with a lawyer on my Roundup lawsuit?
You can represent yourself “pro se,” meaning that you serve as your own lawyer. Yet, the American Bar Association (ABA) notes that doing so could put you at a disadvantage. That’s because even with thorough research, the average person is no match for corporate lawyers.
Before deciding to represent yourself, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you understand product liability law?
- Can you prove that, without a doubt, Roundup caused your condition?
- Do you know the actual cost of your past, present, and future damages?
- Do you know how to join a mass tort or file a lawsuit on your own?
If you answered “no” to these questions, partnering with a lawyer could serve your legal interests.
How can a Roundup lawsuit lawyer help me and my family?
From filing your case’s initial paperwork to completing a trial, our network of roundup lawsuit lawyers can handle everything involved with your Roundup lawsuit. Specific services may involve:
- Gathering evidence to prove your case
- Consulting with chemists about glyphosate’s dangers
- Getting statements from your healthcare team about your condition
- Estimating the cost of your damages, including pain and suffering
- Negotiating a settlement (if possible)
- Determining whether an individual lawsuit or mass tort suits your situation
- Managing your case’s filing and paperwork
- Representing you in any courtroom proceedings
- Communicating with all involved parties, including the defendant’s legal team
- Keeping you updated on your case’s progression
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
Many lawyers who handle Roundup cancer lawsuits work on a contingency-fee basis. Instead of you paying hourly rates, retainers, and upfront fees, a percentage of your settlement pays for your lawyer’s services.
At the beginning of your case, you and your attorney will work out an agreement that benefits both of you. If they cannot win your case, you do not pay their attorney’s fees.
The Sentinel Group can help with your Roundup case today
The Sentinel Group is not a law firm. We’re a lawyer referral service. We have dozens of qualified, Bar-certified lawyers in our directory. When you give us a call, you can talk to one of our representatives about your case. Then, we’ll connect you with a law firm that has your goals in mind.
Your first case review is free and performed at no obligation.
What our clients have to say about us
Take a look at some of our client testimonials:
“We can wholeheartedly recommend The Sentinel Group® to other law firms because, in the work they have done for us, it is clear they have the knowledge and experience that is needed to get the job done. When it comes to producing cases, the results are just what Sentinel Group says they will be.” ––Robert B.
“It is without hesitation that I recommend The Sentinel Group®. They know their business when it comes to generating cases that pay. Unlike others I have worked with before, The Sentinel Group® is responsive and they communicate with you every step of the way. They are the advertising lawyer’s best friend.” ––Vic F.
Resources for Roundup exposure claimants
Right now, you’re likely struggling with stress, uncertainty, and the strain of being sick. While you consider legal aid, here are some resources that could benefit you:
- The American Cancer Society provides online resources for those suffering from a cancer diagnosis. By allowing the website to access your location, you can discover resources in your area. The organization also has a hotline where you can chat with a live representative for support. Dial 1-800-227-2345.
- Carey Gilliam wrote a book called “The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man’s Search for Justice.” The 322-page book describes how Monsanto concealed information from the public, and other details regarding Dewayne Lee Johnson’s case against the corporation.
- The Center for Research on Globalization released an article back in 2015 about how Monsanto knew about glyphosate’s risks as early as 1983. Here, you can learn more about the corporation and how it allowed a dangerous product to reach the public.
- Facing a life-threatening diagnosis can strain your mental health. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a 24-hour, seven days a week hotline where you can share your concerns with a trained representative. Dial 1-800-662-4357. Services are offered in both English and Spanish.
Connect with The Sentinel Group today
The lawsuits against Roundup are still evolving. If you or a loved one developed a health condition after being exposed to Roundup, you might qualify for compensation. To connect with a law firm in our network, dial 1-800-874-8678. Our mass tort lawsuit attorneys are ready to help with any future cases of illness connected to Roundup use.