Roundup, Glyphosate Exposure Resulted in Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Lawsuit

An Indiana man indicates that Monsanto misrepresented the safety profile of Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, failing to warn that exposure to the controversial weedkiller may result in a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

The complaint (PDF) filed late last month Ricky Sharp in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, indicating that Monsanto knew about the link between Roundup and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, yet withheld information from consumers and regulators.

Sharp indicates that he sprayed Roundup on a regular basis for years, unaware of the potentially carcinogenic side effects. Although he followed all safety and precautionary warnings provided by the manufacturer, Sharp was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he indicates was caused by exposure to glyphosate in the weedkiller.

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“Glyphosate and Roundup in particular have long been associated with carcinogenicity and the development of numerous forms of cancer, including, but not limited to, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and soft tissue sarcoma,” according to the complaint. “Defendant has known of this association since the mid-1980s and numerous human and animal studies have evidenced the carcinogenicity of glyphosate and/or Roundup.”

Despite the known risks, Sparp indicates that Monsanto continued to issue broad and sweeping statements that suggested Roundup was safer than ordinary household items, such as table salt, even though there was a lack of scientific support, and voluminous evidence to the contrary.

Sharp’s claim joins thousands of other Roundup lawsuits being pursued against Monsanto by individuals nationwide, which have been filed since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) acknowledged that glyphosate is a probably human carcinogen in mid-2015.

In the federal court system, all cases have been centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is pending before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

Judge Chhabria has 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.

Following resolution of any motions to dismiss based on general causation, if a Roundup settlements or another resolution for the litigation is not reached during the first phase of discovery, it is expected that Judge Chhabria will establish a bellwether process, where a small group of cases will be prepared for early trial dates to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the lawsuits.


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