Large B-Cell Lymphoma Lawsuit Filed Over Roundup Use For Three Decades

An Ohio man says he developed large B-cell lymphoma after exposure to Roundup for nearly 30 years to fight weeds on his property, indicating that Monsanto failed to adequately warn about the cancer risks associated with Roundup use.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Michael Holliday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on April 19, joining thousands of similar claims brought nationwide on behalf of consumers who have been diagnosed with various sub-types of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Holliday indicates that he regularly used the glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup from about 1990 to 2018, and was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma in 2015. However, he claims that he had no way to discover that Roundup caused his illness until the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a potential human carcinogen.

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Like nearly 11,000 other Roundup lawsuits filed in courts nationwide, Holliday claims that Monsanto knew for years that it’s popular weed killer was linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, but has refused to add proper warnings and instructions to the products, indicating that the manufacturer went to great lengths to hide the risk from the public.

“Plaintiff had no way of knowing about the risk of serious illness associated with the use of and/or exposure to Roundup and glyphosate,” the lawsuit states. “Rather than disclose critical safety information regarding Roundup and glyphosate, Monsanto has consistently and falsely represented the safety of its Roundup products.”

Monsanto and its new parent company, Bayer, have been hit with a series of massive verdicts in early Roundup trials over the past year, including a $78 million judgment in California state court in August 2018, and an $80 million verdict last month in the first federal bellwether trial.

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, the federal claims have been centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) before U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California, where several early trial dates were set to go before juries this year to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.

As more individuals continue to learn that Roundup exposure may have caused a non-Hodgkins lymphoma diagnosis in recent years, the size of the litigation that Monsanto faces continues to grow. Following bellwether trials, if the manufacturer fails to reach Roundup settlements or otherwise resolve the litigation, hundreds of individual cases may be set for trial in courts nationwide.

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