Monsanto’s Roundup Found to Play a Role in Causing Man’s Cancer
A California man is seeking damages after he claims Roundup, the widely popular weedkiller and brainchild of biotechnology juggernaut Monsanto, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the first phase of this trial which concluded March 19, 2019, a federal jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, acknowledging that Roundup was indeed a “substantial factor” in his cancer. In the second phase of the trial, the jury will decide whether Monsanto, now acquired by Bayer, knew of these risks and intentionally misled the man, thus being liable for damages. Dennis VanDerGinst, CEO of VanDerGinst Law, P.C., discusses the implications of this two-phase trial and what it could mean for the 11,000 pending lawsuits against the company.
“Trials like this are often done in two phases because the court doesn’t want the significance of the injuries to influence the jury’s perspective on liability,” explains VanDerGinst. “Normally once there has been an affirmative finding in phase one, the second round then focuses on damages.”
Cases like these are based heavily on valid science, using strict standards that outline which expert testimony can be admissible. The complexity arises when there is conflicting research from two widely respected organizations. For example, in the case of Monsanto’s Roundup, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deemed Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, to likely not be carcinogenic, the World Health Organization (WHO) came up with the opposite conclusion. “The science determines the acceptable scientific measure of exposure,” says VanDerGinst. “It determines the threshold of exposure and causation and when it’s statistically significant to suggest causation, that’s what establishes the potential case.”
“Monsanto’s best argument at this stage is going to be that there were contributing, intervening, or superseding factors that caused this man’s cancer,” VanDerGinst notes. Indeed, that’s what Monsanto’s team of lawyers will be focusing on as they stand firmly behind their products.
But what about the other 11,000 cases against them? VanDerGinst believes the verdict in this trial may serve as a precedent for future cases. “Typically, what you see is if you have a jury finding favorably with the plaintiff, then the defendants may wish to explore a global settlement,” he says. However, he cautions that no two cases are alike and that each case must be reviewed on its own merits before it goes to trial. “For example, were there other factors that could have contributed to a person’s cancer? Was he or she a smoker or exposed to another known carcinogenic unrelated to Roundup?”
Nonetheless, VanDerGinst believes there is a significant takeaway to be gleaned from this ruling. “We are handling these cases and representing a number of people who have been diagnosed with cancer after exposure to Roundup, particularly farmers in this area,” he explains. “We wanted to make sure what the rulings were going to be on the scientific testimony and now that we see what’s happening, we are eager to take on more of these cases.”
If you or a loved one have been exposed to Roundup and have been diagnosed with cancer, contact VanDerGinst Law today. We have knowledgeable and experienced attorneys who can help guide you through the complexities of your case and help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win. Call VanDerGinst Law at 800-797-5391. The law is tough, being injured is tougher. We’ll make it easier for you.
“Monsanto Weedkiller Roundup Was ‘Substantial Factor’ in Causing Man’s Cancer, Jury Says,” The New York Times, March 19, 2019
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