man spraying roundup

A Timeline of Roundup Litigation: Key Cases and Decisions

Our Roundup cancer lawyer dives into the intricate history of Roundup litigation with a timeline that highlights major lawsuits, key legal decisions, and pivotal moments in the ongoing controversy in this blog. The information provided here can help you understand the evolution of the legal battles and their outcomes, providing a clear picture of the litigation landscape. 

Initial Development and Market Introduction of Roundup Weedkiller (1970s through 2000)

In the 1970s, Monsanto developed and patented glyphosate, an herbicide that is the active ingredient in Roundup. The company introduced Roundup to the market in 1973. It quickly became one of the most popular weed killers used in the United States for consumer, business, and agricultural purposes. Monsanto’s exclusive rights to the use of glyphosate in products in the United States expired in September 2000. Now, other manufacturers can use glyphosate in products. 

Rise of Roundup Litigation (Post-2000)

After the patent for glyphosate expired, the use of glyphosate increased significantly. The extensive use of glyphosate in products led to rising concerns about its safety and the subsequent litigation against the manufacturer. 

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Classification (2015)

The IARC is an agency of the World Health Organization. In 2015, experts from 11 countries reviewed the published scientific evidence to evaluate the carcinogenicity of five insecticides, including glyphosate. As a result, the IARC classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” sparking a wave of lawsuits.

Key Roundup Lawsuit Decisions 

Three critical decisions in Roundup lawsuits occurred in the following cases:

Dewayne Johnson Case (August 2018)

Mr. Johnson, a groundskeeper diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was awarded $289 million after a jury trial for his lawsuit against Monsanto. A court reduced the jury verdict to $78 million and then $21 million. The jury found Monsanto failed to warn of cancer risks associated with Roundup and glyphosate.

Edwin Hardeman Case (March 2019)

Mr. Hardeman, who claimed Roundup caused his cancer, was awarded $80 million (later reduced to $26 million). The judge noted Monsanto’s lack of concern for product safety.

Alva and Alberta Pilliod Case (May 2019)

A jury awarded Mr. and Mrs. Case $2 billion (later reduced to $87 million). The jurors found Roundup was a substantial factor in their cancers.

Roundup Settlements and Corporate Response 

Two significant developments to keep in mind when reviewing the history of Roundup litigation are:

Bayer Acquisition and Stock Impact (2018) – Bayer acquired Monsanto in 2018. After the acquisition, Bayer faced significant stock value loss due to the litigation.

Mass Settlement (June 2020) – Bayer settled over 100,000 Roundup lawsuits by paying litigants over $10  billion for existing claims. The company also committed $1.5 billion for future claims. The company still faces almost 40,000 Roundup-related cases with other cases being filed as new victims come forward. 

False Advertising and Environmental Concerns

Allegations that Roundup increases the risk of cancer are not the only allegations of wrongdoing Monsanto and Bayer face. Monsanto faced lawsuits for misleading advertising claims about glyphosate products’ safety and biodegradability in 1996, 2001, and 2020. 

In the most recent case, the New York Attorney General announced a settlement for $6.9 million from Bayer and Monsanto. The settlement related to allegations that the companies made misleading and false claims regarding the safety of some Roundup consumer weed killers. The companies repeatedly claimed that Roundup consumer products containing glyphosate were non-toxic and safe. However, there was inadequate substantiation of these claims. 

In January 2019, France banned Roundup 360 following a court ruling questioning the safety assessment by the regulatory agency ANSES. An administrative tribunal ruled that ANSES should have given more weight to the potential safety risks posed by Roundup when authorizing its use in France. 

Ongoing Controversy and Legal Developments

The legal and public health debate over glyphosate and Roundup continues, with ongoing lawsuits, scientific studies, and regulatory reviews. If you were diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to Roundup, you might have a claim for damages. Contact our office today for a free consultation.