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Allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed against Monsanto indicates that exposure to chemicals contained in the weedkiller Roundup caused an orange grove worker to develop large B-cell lymphoma.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Keith Horm in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on June 1, indicating that he began using Roundup in the early to mid 1990s, when spraying orange groves in Lake County, Florida.
Following years of Roundup exposure, Horn was diagnosed with high grade large B-cell lymphoma, which the lawsuit alleges was a direct result of the glyphosate-based herbicide. Although Monsanto allegedly knew or should have known about the link between Roundup and cancer, Horn indicates that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn agricultural workers or other consumers.
“Glyphosate, and Defendants’ Roundup products in particular, have long been associated with serious side effects and many regulatory agencies around the globe have banned or are currently banning the use of glyphosate herbicide products,” Horn’s lawsuit states. “The failure of Defendants to appropriately warn and inform the EPA has resulted in inadequate warnings in safety information presented directly to users and consumers.”
Horn indicates that he was unaware that Roundup may cause large B-cell lymphoma until 2015, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that glyphosate contained in the weedkiller is likely a cancer-causing agent.
A recent U.S. Geological Survey on glyphosate usage nationwide found that an estimated 2.6 billion pounds of the herbicide has been sprayed on America’s agricultural land over the two decades since the mid-1990s, when Monsanto introduced “Roundup Ready” crops that are designed to survive being sprayed with glyphosate, killing the weeds but not the crops.
Like other plaintiffs now pursuing Roundup lawsuits against Monsanto, Horn indicates that he may have avoided a diagnosis of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma subtype if cancer warnings had been provided with Roundup, as safety precautions could have been taken or other products could have been used to control the growth of weeds.
Given similar questions of fact and law raised in cases pending throughout the federal court system, the Roundup litigation is consolidated 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.
While Horn’s case will be transferred to the MDL, if Roundup settlements or another resolution for the litigation is not reached during the coordinated proceedings, it may be remanded back to the Middle District of Florida for a future trial date.