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Roundup Cancer Lawsuits

Roundup lawsuit have been going on for over 8 years now. This is the story of the Roundup litigation, what plaintiffs can do in 2024, and an update on the latest spate of Roundup NHL verdicts nationwide.

Lawsuits regarding the Roundup weed killer allege that Monsanto’s herbicide led to the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma or similar cancers in individuals. Plaintiffs claim that Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, failed to disclose the potential cancer risks associated with the product to the public. Moreover, these legal actions assert that the company deliberately misled the public about Roundup’s safety.

Referred to in litigation as the “Monsanto Papers,” internal communications from Monsanto revealed potential concealment of Roundup’s cancer connection over an extended period. These documents purportedly displayed evidence of the company’s amicable relationships with regulators and tactics employed to suppress scientific evidence linking glyphosate to cancer.

Bayer maintains its stance on the safety of its product, refuting any connection between Roundup and cancer. Despite this stance, the company stopped selling residential versions of Roundup in 2023 while continuing to offer commercial formulas.


January 15, 2024: There are now around 4,200 pending cases in the Roundup MDL. Just 3 new cases were added over the last month as the focus of the Roundup lawsuits has shifted to from the federal MDL to state courts.

About Roundup

Roundup stands out as the most extensively utilized herbicide globally for weed control, finding application in lawns, gardens, parks, and playgrounds. With Monsanto as its manufacturer, this weed and grass killer generates an annual revenue surpassing $6 billion, with over 250 million pounds sprayed yearly.

The herbicide’s primary concern revolves around glyphosate, its vital component. Numerous scientists suggest that glyphosate may heighten the risk of developing specific cancer types like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and hairy cell leukemia. The World Health Organization (WHO) categorized glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen.”

Initially, the scientific understanding was murky. Monsanto’s legal team emphasized scientists’ uncertainty regarding the long-term effects of Roundup exposure. However, in reality, a considerable portion of established scientific beliefs was influenced by ghostwritten material commissioned by Monsanto.

Many Roundup lawyers initially anticipated the lawsuits to be a toss-up between Monsanto/Bayer and the victims. However, this assumption proved drastically wrong. Jurors in three trial cases awarded substantial sums, indicating their belief that pesticides contribute to cancer and denouncing Monsanto’s inaction. The punitive damages awarded signify not only a ruling for the plaintiffs but also a strong sentiment against the availability of the weed killer in the market.

Research Linking Roundup to Cancer

In September 2003, a study on 3,400 farmworkers in the Midwest raised concerns about the safety of glyphosate. An article published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine pointed to a potential link between glyphosate exposure and higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—a finding from 19 years ago.

A research article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health conducted systematic reviews over 30 years of research on the connection between NHL and agricultural pesticide exposure. This extensive analysis identified a significant surge in non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases over the past three decades.

Moreover, the research highlights farmers’ low overall mortality rates but elevated occurrences of certain cancers, possibly attributed to agrochemical exposure. Crucially, it confirms the association between glyphosate exposure and a common subtype of NHL known as B-cell lymphoma.

In 2015, a report released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the WHO, categorized glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic,” citing evidence of cancer development in animal tests and DNA damage in human cells.

How did Bayer respond to the IARC’s conclusion about Roundup’s cancer-causing potential? Monsanto, under Bayer, allegedly devised strategies to influence regulators and generate opposition against the IARC’s decision. The company purportedly engaged EPA employees to ensure that glyphosate wasn’t carcinogenic before agency reviews. Additionally, they leveraged connections to pressure “key Democrats on the Hill” to influence the EPA and delay other regulatory agency evaluations of glyphosate. Their objective seemed to challenge the relevance of IARC’s findings, safeguard global sales, and support their legal defense against litigation. This conduct potentially elucidates why juries disregarded the EPA’s regulatory inaction while awarding substantial compensations to victims.

Roundup Lawsuit Verdicts and Settlements

In 2018 and 2019, 3 Roundup test cases went to trial in California in both federal and state courts. These early Roundup trials resulted in blockbuster verdicts for the plaintiffs that forced Monsanto/Bayer to negotiate a settlement. Below are summaries of these first three verdicts:

Johnson v Monsanto (2018) $289.2 million verdict: A 46-year-old male groundskeeper for a San Francisco school district, who regularly applied Roundup on school premises, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). He attempted to contact Monsanto upon receiving his NHL diagnosis, expressing concerns about Roundup’s potential link to his cancer, but received no response. Following an 8-week trial in San Francisco County, the jury found Monsanto liable, awarding $289 million in damages, including $250 million in punitive damages. Later, the judge capped the punitive damages, reducing the total award to $78.5 million.

Hardeman v Monsanto (2019) $80.2 million verdict: In this initial federal court case from the Roundup MDL, a 70-year-old male residing in Sonoma County, California, used Roundup products on his 56-acre property since the 1980s. Three years after starting the use, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The jury determined that the weed killer was defective, granting an $80 million award, which included a substantial punitive damages amount of $75 million.

Pilliod v Monsanto (2019) $2.055 billion verdict. The plaintiffs, a husband and wife in their 70s from Livermore, California, regularly used Roundup products at their home and occasionally on other properties. The husband developed large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, while the wife was diagnosed with central nervous system lymphoma progressing to NHL. Following weeks of trial in Alameda County, the jury delivered a monumental verdict of $2,055,206,173, including $2 billion in punitive damages.

After these verdicts, Bayer set aside $16 billion to cover Roundup settlements and began negotiating large block settlements with individual plaintiff firms. As a result of these efforts, around 80% of the 100,000 pending Roundup cases were settled.

Bayer Goes on a Hot Streak

At some point around the end of 2021, however, Bayer stopped trying to settle the remaining cases and started taking select cases to trial. By picking and choosing weak cases to go to trial in, Bayer scored a series of defense verdicts in state court cases nationwide. The success in these cases made Bayer much more bullish about settlements.

Bayer’s Streak Ends

Bayer’s streak of success in Roundup trials ended midway through 2023. After running out of weak Roundup cases for easy victories, Bayer started going to trial in stronger cases and losing. Over the last half of 2023, another round of Roundup trials resulted in significant verdicts for the plaintiffs. The results in these most recent Roundup trials are expected to have the same effect as the 2019 verdicts, forcing Bayer to focus more on settlement in future Roundup cases.

You Can Still File a Roundup Lawsuit

Even though the Roundup litigation has been going on for years, it is not too late to file your own Roundup lawsuit as long as you were only recently diagnosed (within the last three years) with NHL as a result of Roundup exposure.

Newly diagnosed Roundup cancer cases present robust grounds for viable lawsuits. Our Roundup legal team anticipates that new cases will likely yield significantly higher settlement amounts per individual than settled cases. Why? Because Bayer intends to settle the case for $11 billion and continue selling the product without issuing a warning.

Contact a Roundup Lawyer

If you want to bring a Roundup cancer lawsuit, contact us at 800-322-3010 or get a free online consultation.