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A Michigan farmer has filed a product liability lawsuit alleging that exposure to the Monsanto weedkiller Roundup caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Thomas Taylor in Delaware Superior Court on March 29, indicating that Monsanto deceived farmers and other agricultural workers by claiming that Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, were “safer than table salt” and did not recommend they wear protective clothing while using the herbicide.
Taylor indicates that he used Roundup for about three years while working on a farm in northern Michigan. The lawsuit maintains that he mixed and sprayed Roundup about eight times per month during the summer, in June through September.
“Defendant’s failure to adequately warn Plaintiff resulted in (1) Plaintiff using and being exposed to glyphosate instead of using another acceptable and safe method of controlling unwanted weeds and pests; and (2) scientists and physicians failing to warn and instruct consumers about the risk of cancer, including NHL, and other injuries associated with Roundup,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff was subsequently diagnosed with large non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at Community Health Center of Branch County in Coldwater, Michigan in or about April 2013.”
The case joins a growing number of similar Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma lawsuits filed in recent months against Monsanto by farmers, groundskeepers, landscapers, agricultural workers and others exposed to the weedkiller throughout the United states.
Concerns about the link between Roundup and cancer surfaced in March 2015, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is likely a cancer-causing agent. In particular, the IARC report links the side effects of Roundup to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Taylor and other plaintiffs indicate that they may have avoided a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other cancers if they had been warned about the Roundup risks for farmers, landscapers and others in the agricultural industry, as safety precautions could have been taken or other products could have been used to control the growth of weeds.
Taylor presents claims against Monsanto for negligence, design defect, failure to warn, breach of implied warranty, and breach of consumer protection statutes. He is seeking both punitive and compensatory damages.