Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Monsanto roundup weedkiller

California Jury Finds That Monsanto’s Roundup Weedkiller Likely Caused Man’s Cancer

As reported by Law360, a jury in federal court in California determined that Monsanto’s widely-used weedkiller product Roundup was a substantial factor in causing cancer in a Santa Rosa man, “delivering a major blow to the Bayer AG [Monsanto] unit in the first such federal bellwether trial and setting the stage for a second phase to determine damages.” The found that use of Roundup contributed substantially to his cancer, rejecting the argument put forth by Monsanto that there was just no way to know what caused the lymphoma at issue in the trial.

The trial is being closely-watched as there are hundreds of similar lawsuits pending across the country. The plaintiff in the instant lawsuit testified that he used Roundup to kill poison oak and weeds on his property from 1986 through 2012. The jury head considerable amounts of testimony from scientific experts on both the plaintiff and defendants’ side. This initial phase of the trial tasked the jury with deciding on the science behind Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the plaintiff’s cancer in particular.

“During closings, [plaintiff’s lawyers] argued that his exposure to the herbicide had been extreme and that their experts had presented ‘overwhelming evidence’ in the form of animal studies, mechanistic data and epidemiological data that showed the risk of getting NHL increases the more a person uses Roundup,” according to Law360.

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