Roundup non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Lawsuit Ends in $1.25M Verdict Against Bayer

The plaintiff indicated he developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from Roundup, after using the weed killer as part of a neighborhood restoration project.

A St. Louis jury has ordered Bayer to pay $1.25 million in a Roundup lawsuit brought by a man who says the weed killer caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The lawsuit was filed by John Durnell, and the verdict was handed down Friday in the Missouri 22nd Judicial Circuit Court, breaking a nine-case winning streak by manufacturers of the herbicide in recent state-court trials.

Over the past eight years, Bayer and its Monsanto subsidiary have faced more than 120,000 Roundup lawsuits, each raising similar allegations that former users developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after exposure to the weedkiller, either when using the product in an agricultural setting or around the homes.

After getting hit with a series of massive verdicts in 2018 and 2019, Bayer has agreed to pay billions in Roundup settlements to resolve individual injury lawsuits. However, the deals still left tens of thousands of claims unresolved, as many users rejected the settlement offers, and new lawsuits continue to be filed as former users develop non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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According to Durnell’s original lawsuit, he began using Roundup in 1996 in St. Louis as part of the Soulard Restoration Project and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma several years later.

Last week, the jury awarded $1.25 million in compensatory damages, representing the first state court verdict returned against Bayer and Monsanto outside of California.

The litigation began to emerge in 2015, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decided to classify glyphosate in Roundup as a probable cancer-causing agent.

While the outcome of Durnell’s lawsuit  will not have any binding impact on other claims, it was being closely watched to help gauge how juries in Missouri may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation. Most of the U.S. case are currently pending in Missouri state court, where Monsanto’s U.S. headquarters are located and it remains a major employer.

In addition to the state court litigation, hundreds of claims are currently centralized in the federal court system before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California, where several large waves of claims are being prepared for remand to different federal district court for trial.


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