Roundup Jury Trial Over Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Risk Underway in St. Louis

Missouri state court trial will involve a woman who developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup spray bottles as a child

A jury in St. Louis County has begun hearing testimony and evidence in a lawsuit over the link between Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, involving claims brought by a woman who developed the cancer after using handheld spray bottles of the toxic weed killer as a child.

The Roundup lawsuit is one of more than 90,000 that have been filed against Monsanto in recent years, each involving similar allegations that consumers have not been adequately warned about the cancer risks associated use of the widely marketed weedkiller.

After getting hit with a series of massive verdicts in 2018 and 2019, Monsanto agreed to pay billions in Roundup settlements to resolve individual claims. However, thousands of lawsuits were left unresolved and new claims continue to be filed as former users of Roundup are diagnosed with non-Hodkins lymphoma years later.

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Opening statements began on Wednesday in the Missouri 21st Judicial Circuit Court in St. Louis County, for a claim brought by Sharlean Gordon, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 39.

Like other consumers, Gordon argues that her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis was directly caused by exposure to the chemicals in Roundup, pointing to a series of studies and evidence uncovered in recent years that glyphosate increases the risk of cancer. Gordon indicates she applied Roundup using spray bottles with her stepfather as a child.

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 the lawsuit filed by Gordon will not have any binding impact on other claims, it will be 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.

There are at least three more Roundup jury trials scheduled to begin in various state courts nationwide over the next few months, including:

  • 6/5/2023 – Lopez v. Monsanto in Florida Circuit Court (Wade County)
  • 6/12/2023 – Moore v. Monsanto in Missouri County Circuit Court
  • 6/26/2023 – Johnson v. Monsanto in California Superior Court (San Diego)

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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