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Lawsuit Alleges Roundup Caused Large B Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Diagnosis

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A Florida man has filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, alleging his large B cell lymphoma diagnosis was caused by Roundup, alleging that the widely used glyphosate-based weedkiller is dangerous to human health and lacks proper warnings. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Jack Shorr in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on September 27, joining a growing number of similar lawsuits filed in state and federal courts nationwide.

Shorr indicates that he used Roundup and other glyphosate-containing products sold by Monsanto from the 1980s through 2018. As a result of exposure to the chemicals contained in the weedkiller, Shorr indicates he was diagnosed with Large B Cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014, which is one of the many subtypes of non-Hodgkins lymphoma linked to Roundup exposure.

“Plaintiff maintains that Roundup and/or glyphosate is defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce and lacked proper warnings and directions as to the dangers associated with its use,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff’s injuries, like those striking thousands of similarly situated victims across the country, were avoidable.”

More than 8,000 Roundup lawsuits are currently pending against Monsanto, each involving similar allegations that a cancer diagnosis may have been avoided if the manufacturer had not withheld important warnings and safety instructions.

While Monsanto continues to maintain that their blockbuster brand is safe, denying that there is any link between Roundup and cancer, Shorr and other plaintiffs say the company either knew or should have known about the risk, and that it failed to conduct adequate testing.

The case will be consolidated in the federal court system with hundreds of other claims, which are currently centralized for pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California.

Judge Chhabria previously determined that the Roundup litigation will be bifurcated, first addressing general causation about the link between the widely used weedkiller and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, as well as other forms of cancer, before addressing case-specific issues about whether Roundup caused cancer for each individual plaintiff.

In July, Judge Chhabria ruled that plaintiffs had enough evidence to proceed to the bellwether trial phase, where a small group of cases will now be selected to go before juries, to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

Following the coordinated MDL proceedings, if Roundup settlements or another resolution for the litigation is not reached, thousands of individual cases may ultimately be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates in the future.

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Photo Courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr Creative Commons

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