Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Monsanto Roundup Lawsuits

Monsanto Roundup Lawsuits

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the active ingredient in Monsanto Roundup weed killer products is a probable carcinogen. Gardeners, homeowners, and groundskeepers became concerned about possible health impacts from prolonged exposure.

Glyphosate is the world's most popular herbicide. It was produced by Monsanto decades ago. It's also the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer. Scientists and attorneys wondered whether glyphosate could cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Some juries have said yes. However, many government regulators, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have found no health risk. Read on to learn more about the Roundup cancer lawsuits and whether you or your loved ones have a potential legal claim.

Glyphosate and Cancer: Ongoing Scientific Debate

The debate over whether glyphosate is a human carcinogen has been ongoing for years. Much of the discussion concerns whether glyphosate causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other types of cancer. However, people exposed to Monsanto's weed killer have developed other illnesses.

In recent Roundup claims, plaintiffs have alleged that Roundup also causes the following illnesses:

  • Parkinson's
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Autism
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Alzheimer's
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Liver disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • B-cell lymphoma
  • Congenital disabilities

Of course, the Roundup class action MDL lawsuit is still ongoing. Bayer, the company that acquired Monsanto in 2018, still denies liability.

Bayer Denies Liability

Not surprisingly, Bayer AG denies that Roundup is hazardous to humans. The company has pointed to the EPA saying that glyphosate is safe. The EPA also said the weed killer isn't harmful to humans when used properly.

The EPA is at odds with the World Health Organization. In 2015, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared that glyphosate is "probably" carcinogenic.

Disagreement over whether Roundup's active ingredient is a carcinogen will likely continue. This is why so many cases are still pending. The defendant has already appealed several verdicts.

Roundup Products Liability Litigation

The Roundup class action MDL lawsuit first gained national attention in 201. Plaintiff Dewayne "Lee" Johnson of San Francisco sued the manufacturers of Roundup. Johnson was a school groundskeeper in California who used Roundup for much of his career.

Johnson filed suit against Monsanto when he received a terminal diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The jury ruled in favor of Johnson and awarded him $289 million. Only $49 million was compensatory damages, and $250 million was punitive damages. The appeals court would later reduce the judgment to $79.5 million, arguing that the punitive damages awarded by the jury were excessive.

In another 2019 case (Hardeman v. Monsanto), the jury awarded the plaintiff $80 million. Like Johnson, Hardeman's attorneys argued that the defendant knew their product was harmful and intentionally failed to warn consumers. Hardeman was the first bellwether trial in the federal multi-district litigation.

That same year, in Pilliod v. Monsanto, the jury awarded the plaintiff an astonishing $2.055 billion. However, Bayer petitioned the Supreme Court to review the judgment award. The courts later reduced Pilliod's award to just $87 million.

This isn't the only time the defendant has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for help. As reported by Reuters in 2022, the German company Bayer has asked the Court to intervene and reverse the judgments filed against them. They argue that federal regulators have confirmed the safety of glyphosate and, so, the Court should vacate the judgments.

Thousands of People Have Filed Suit Against Monsanto

The judgments issued in the above three cases are unique. It's naive to assume that other plaintiffs alleging illnesses from Roundup exposure will receive the same compensation. It was the early cases that demonstrated the risk of cancer suffered by glyphosate exposure.

Cases will likely settle now that the federal courts have consolidated much of the Roundup litigation. Many Americans with cancer or other related illnesses will receive much lower payouts. This also is true for any future Roundup cases.

Landscapers were many of the claimants in the class action lawsuits filed against Monsanto Co. and Bayer. They had an increased risk of harmful exposure. However, some are homeowners and gardeners who argue they became sick after the use of Roundup.

Bayer faces lawsuits filed by consumers. However, other entities have sued them as well. For example, New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the company for violating state laws and regulations on false and misleading advertising.

In 1996, the State of New York cited Monsanto for false and misleading advertising. The parties settled the matter. Monsanto promised it wouldn't engage in this kind of behavior going forward. The AG argued that the defendant violated that agreement. The parties settled the case in June of 2023 for $6.9 million.

Federal Courts Have Consolidated Many Monsanto Lawsuits

As often happens in toxic tort cases, federal courts have transferred most of their Roundup cases from diverse locations around the country. Instead, they will be handled jointly in a single venue. Federal District Court Judge Vince Chhabria (Northern District of California) oversees the Roundup Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation.

The consolidation does not mean the defendant is off the hook in state courts. Some of those cases are slowly winding their way through the appeals process. If past product liability claims against other manufacturers are any guide, the Monsanto Roundup lawsuits may take several years to resolve.

Preventing Glyphosate Exposure

Many personal injury lawyers still believe that Roundup causes cancer. If your job requires you to use the weed killer regularly, you may want to reconsider careers. Be careful about what pesticides you use at home as well.

If you believe you were exposed to glyphosate and have developed cancer or any other illnesses listed above, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.

Think You've Been Injured by Monsanto Roundup? Talk to a Lawyer

If you have non-Hodgkin lymphoma or other related medical conditions and think Roundup caused your illness, you may have a legal claim. You may still have time to participate in the Roundup settlements.

Contact a Roundup lawyer right away. If you don't file your case before the statute of limitations expires, the judge will dismiss your claim.

Contact an experienced product liability lawyer today to discuss your legal options.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps

Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options