Roundup Case Selected For First Federal Bellwether Trial in February 2019

The U.S. District Judge presiding over hundreds of Roundup cancer lawsuits has selected the first bellwether case that will go before a jury in the federal court system, with trial set to begin on February 25, 2019.

While Bayer currently faces more than 9,300 product liability lawsuits filed nationwide by individuals who allege that exposure to Roundup resulted in non-Hodgkins lymphoma or other cancers, about 600 of the cases are centralized in the federal court system before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California, as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Judge Chhabria has presided over coordinated discovery into common issues in the claims, and issued rulings on pretrial challenges to the admissibility of expert testimony in the cases earlier this year. After determining that plaintiffs have sufficient evidence to present their claims to juries, a group of “bellwether” cases filed in California federal courts are being prepared for a series of early trial dates in the Roundup MDL.

Learn More About

Roundup Lawsuits

Exposure to RoundUp May Increase Risk of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Other Cancers. Lawsuits Reviewed Nationwide.

Learn More About this Lawsuit See If You Qualify For Compensation

In a pretrial order (PDF) issued on November 20, Judge Chhabria confirmed that a Roundup case filed by Edward Hardeman will be the first to go forward, indicating that two alternate cases must also be ready for trial to begin by February 25, in the event the Hardeman case settles or does not go forward.

Hardeman filed his complaint (PDF) in February 2016, alleging that his 2015 diagnosis of large B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma was caused by Roundup used on his property to control poison oak and weeds since the 1980s.

While the outcome of this trial will not be binding on other Roundup claims, it will be closely watched to help gauge how other juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony permitted under the federal rules.

The trial will be the second to reach a jury in the U.S., after an earlier case brought by a former school groundskeeper diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma went to trial in California state court over the summer. After considering evidence in that claim, a state court jury indicated that Monsanto should be forced to pay $289 million in damages, including punitive damages designed to punish the manufacturer for failing to warn consumers about the cancer risks associated with their widely used weedkiller.

While Monsanto pushed for a new trial given the size of the jury award, the state court judge upheld the verdict with a reduced damage award of $78 million last month.

In addition to the February 2019 trial date before Judge Chhabria in the federal court system, additional cases are set to go to trial in California and Missouri state courts over the next year, including one consolidated trial involving more than a dozen different individuals diagnosed with cancer, who are all expected to go before a Missouri jury in October 2019.

While Bayer has maintained that it intends to defend the cases filed against its Monsanto subsidiary, if the company fails to negotiate Roundup settlements or otherwise resolve the litigation after additional bellwether trials, hundreds of individual trial dates may be scheduled in courts nationwide in the coming years.


Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

AT&T Data Breach Lawsuits Seek Damages for 70M Customers Whose Information Was Released
AT&T Data Breach Lawsuits Seek Damages for 70M Customers Whose Information Was Released (Posted today)

AT&T faces a growing number of data breach class action lawsuits, which plaintiffs say should be consolidated before one federal judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

Fairness of Philips CPAP Recall Settlement Being Evaluated By MDL Judge
Fairness of Philips CPAP Recall Settlement Being Evaluated By MDL Judge (Posted yesterday)

A federal judge has held a fairness hearing for a proposed Philips CPAP class action lawsuit settlement, which seeks to resolve claims that consumers suffered economic damages due to the massive recall over toxic sound abatement foam.