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Five Plaintiffs File Joint Roundup Lawsuit Over Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Diagnosis

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A multi-plaintiff product liability lawsuit has been filed against Monsanto, on behalf of three different individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma from Roundup, including claims for two of their spouses.

The complaint (PDF) was filed earlier this month in the Superior Court of Delaware, by Claire and Gary Van Horn, Donald and Lori Wetzel, and Kevin Kelly. Each of the plaintiffs are from Illinois, and claim that exposure to the popular weedkiller resulted in a non-Hodkins lymphoma diagnosis.

Monsanto is the only named defendant in the lawsuit, indicating that the company misrepresented their popular weedkiller as safe for humans and the environment, despite known evidence about the potential link between Roundup and cancer.

“Defendant’s Roundup products, as researched, tested, developed, designed, licensed, manufactured, packaged, labeled, distributed, sold, and marketed by Defendant were defective in design and formulation in that when they left the hands of Defendant’s manufacturers and/or suppliers, the foreseeable risks associated with these products’ reasonably foreseeable uses exceeded the alleged benefits associated with their design and formulation,” the lawsuit states. “At all times relevant to this action, Defendant knew or had reason to know that its Roundup products were defective and were inherently dangerous and unsafe when used in the manner instructed and provided by Defendant.”

The case joins a growing number of similar Roundup lawsuits filed in recent months by individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma following exposure to the herbicide.

The Roundup litigation has emerged since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that glyphosate contained in the weedkiller is a likely human carcinogen in March 2015, prompting worldwide debate about the safety and widespread use of Roundup.

In the federal court system, dozens of cases filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation, which is centralized before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

As part of the coordinated MDL proceedings, Judge Chhabria has bifurcated the proceedings, indicating that the issue of causation will be addressed by the end of this year, then it is expected that a small group of cases will be set for early trial dates to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the cases. However, if Roundup settlements or another resolution for the cases is not reached by Monsanto, each individual complaint may eventually be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for an individual trial date in the future.

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Photo Courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr Creative Commons

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