The deadly link between the world’s most common weed killer, Roundup, and a terminal cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been the subject of hundreds of lawsuits spanning several years. The saga has been mired in setbacks for plaintiffs and controversy for Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto.
However, a monumental development in the form of a multimillion-dollar jury verdict might prove to be the tipping point for those who have suffered greatly from the dangers of this everyday weed killer.
A California jury dealt a huge blow to Monsanto last week when they awarded a former school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, $289 million. The bulk of that award, $250 million, was punitive against Monsanto, while the remaining $39 million was classified as compensation for Johnson’s condition.
Johnson’s Story is a Familiar One
Johnson, 46, used Roundup regularly during his time as a groundskeeper for a San Francisco school district, applying the herbicide 20 to 30 times per year. He was accidentally soaked with the product on two occasions, the first of which occurred only two years before he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014.
The extreme contact Johnson had with Roundup was likely a powerful part of his testimony for the jury. However, his unfortunate and dire condition was no doubt the most persuasive part of his case. Lesions cover up to 80 percent of Johnson’s body. He is sometimes too incapacitated by his condition to speak.
The diagnosis for Johnson is grim. His physicians said that he is unlikely to live past 2020, which is part of the reason why his case was the first to be heard. For the consumer safety advocates and the thousands of others filing lawsuits against Monsanto, the verdict represents hope of justice for those harmed by Roundup.
Many Others Have Also Suffered from Roundup Exposure
More than 5,000 plaintiffs have stories that echo Johnson’s. The verdict could lead to hundreds of additional claims, particularly for those who have had similar experiences. Any groundskeeper or landscaper that has worked frequently with Roundup and been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma should consider their legal options in light of the recent verdict against Monsanto.
If you’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after working with Roundup, contact Bert Louthian to schedule a free consultation. We are currently accepting inquiries from groundskeepers and landscapers to make sure they get the compensation owed to them.
Monsanto Continues to Deny Responsibility
After the verdict was announced, Monsanto said they stand by their view that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer. The vice president of Monsanto said that the company will “vigorously defend” Roundup and that the product “continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool.…”
It is common for manufacturers to issue these types of statements and deny their product’s role in a user’s injury and illness. But it is clear from the Johnson verdict that the tide is turning against Monsanto.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said in 2015 that the glysophate used in Roundup is likely carcinogenic. Other advocates argue that the interactions between glysophate and other ingredients used in Roundup make the product even more carcinogenic.
The debate between the authors of numerous studies, safety advocates and corporate public relations teams will continue in the wake of the multimillion-dollar verdict, but for users of Roundup who suffer from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the fight has just begun.
To schedule a free consultation with an attorney who has years of experience holding negligent companies accountable, contact Bert Louthian today. We are here to be your advocate and get you the compensation you deserve.