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GOMEZ TRIAL ATTORNEYS IS COMMITTED TO HELPING THOSE HARMED BY MONSANTO COMPANY AND BAYER AG’S ROUNDUP WEED KILLER
Roundup is one of the most popular weed killer products used by home and commercial farmers and gardeners. One of the key ingredients in Roundup is glyphosate which is a broad spectrum systemic herbicide. Glyphosate has been the center of controversy for many years as some say it causes cancer, while others, including Monsanto Company, Roundup’s creator, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, claim it is safe. There are hundreds of studies that also support the assertion that glyphosate herbicide and Roundup are safe for use. However, recent studies suggest people with high exposures to glyphosate are at an increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers.
Currently, gardeners, farmers, ranchers and others in the farming community seek to hold Bayer AG and Monsanto Company responsible for causing their cancer and failing to warn of Roundups dangerous propensities. Since 2010, tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed alleging the Monsanto Company has known for decades that the ingredients in the Roundup formula cause cancer.
This past June, Bayer announced to their shareholders they have agreed to an almost $10 Billion dollar settlement with the Roundup claimants in light of three recent large Roundup verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs. This news comes two short years after Bayer acquired Monsanto in a large $60 billion dollar transaction. Bayer explained that the settlement funds will be used to settle current lawsuits and future claims not yet resolved.
If you or someone you know may have been harmed from using RoundUp, contact the dedicated team of Roundup lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys by calling 619-237-3490 or visit www.TheGomezFirm.com.
ROUNDUP MDL NO. 2741
In 2016, Plaintiffs successfully argued to centralize all pretrial proceedings for efficiency, which led to the creation of MDL No. 2741 in the Northern District of California. Bayer AG argued against centralization stating two positions: (1) the plaintiffs’ cases were unique and did not share common factual issues, and (2) the company preferred individual parties over centralization. However, the Court found neither argument persuasive and created the current MDL.
The lawsuits allege that the use of Roundup has caused multiple cancers in its users and Monsanto and Bayer AG have failed to adequately warn the public of these dangers. To be considered eligible to bring a lawsuit you must have used one of the Roundup weed killer products or another named glyphosate based weed killer between 2001-2019 and been diagnosed with Leukemia or Lymphoma.
Plaintiffs’ co-leadership counsel was awarded to Robin Greenwald of Weitz & Luxenberg, PC; Michael Miller of the Miller Firm, LLC; and Aimee Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff, PC. The Court also appointed a Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee consisting of the two lead-counsel attorneys and four others attorneys from different law firms spread across the United States.
Throughout the litigation, Monsanto and Bayer AG have continued to argue that their products are safe and glyphosate has not been linked as a carcinogen, and where it has been named a possible carcinogen there is weak to no evidence of a causal link. However, the first trials against Monsanto and Bayer AG found against the companies and in favor of the plaintiffs’ injuries in the multi-million dollar range.
To date, there are approximately 95,000 filed cases against Monsanto and Bayer for their Roundup product. The first three cases tried before juries each resulted in multi-million dollar awards for the plaintiffs. In one of those cases Bayer appealed which resulted in a lowered settlement from around $78 million to around $21 million—still a win for the plaintiff and a loss for Monsanto and Bayer. Following these verdicts, Bayer announced a global settlement fund just shy of $10 billion.
Currently, the MDL is open and accepting new cases where plaintiffs have suffered injury from their use of Roundup and other glyphosate weed killer products. In order to join the lawsuit, you must meet the criteria and also submit a 44 page Plaintiff Fact Sheet.
Bayer AG was founded in 1863 in Germany by two men, one a dye salesman and the other a master dyer. By 1881 the company was ready to expand as the business transformed into a joint stock company. Bayer expanded and had built a research facility by 1914.
In 1925, Bayer along with other companies decided to merge after they were hit hard by World War I. After getting through both World Wars, Bayer again opened in 1951 bearing the name Farbenfabriken Bayer AG.
In 1957, Bayer AG made another leap of growth when they joined with Deutsche BP to form a new company named Erdoelchemie GmbH—successfully entering the petrochemical sector. During this time the company kept growing and expanding, and by 1963 the company employed over 80,000 people and had grown their sales to 4.7 billion Deutsche Marks or around $1.2 billion in US dollars.
Bayer AG again expanded in 1974 and 1978 with the purchase of two American laboratories, Cutter Laboratories, Inc. and Miles Laboratories, as the rest of the globe moved toward a severe recession. By 1988, Bayer had successfully released a new cardiovascular medicine, an antibiotic from the class of quinolones, an antifungal crop protection product, and were listed as the first German company on the Tokyo stock exchange. At this time, they has also grown their sales to $40 billion Deutsche Marks and employed 165,000 people worldwide.
Through the years, Bayer AG has focused on research and development and growing their business through acquisitions, one of those being the industrial giant the Monsanto Company. In 2018, Bayer successfully acquired the Monsanto Company for around $60 Billion.
Today, Bayer AG is a life sciences company consisting of three divisions—Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science—and has been around for more than 130 years. The company focuses their research and development efforts on preventing, alleviating, and treating diseases and providing reliable and sustainable food, feed, and plant based raw material.
Bayer is a gigantic global company comprising of 392 consolidated companies in 87 countries. According to their semi-annual 2020 financial report, Bayer reported a Q2 gross profit of over $6 billion and employed just over 115,000 people worldwide.
With its acquisition of the Monsanto Company, Bayer has been involved in heavy litigation surrounding Monsanto’s product Roundup, which is an alleged carcinogen. In recent news, the company announced a $10 billion dollar settlement fund would be set aside to hopefully end the progressive litigation which has grown to tens of thousands of injured plaintiffs following three massive damage awards in favor of plaintiffs in three separate actions. As part of the agreement to settle, Bayer assumed zero liability, admitted no wrong doing, and will not be updating the Roundup warning label. In fact, to date the company still stands behind its Roundup product arguing that it is safe for use and is not a carcinogenic.
The Monsanto Company was originally founded as Monsanto Chemical Works in 1901. At its inception, the company began producing and selling synthetic sweetener. Thereafter, Monsanto began producing various products from synthetic sweetener to pharmaceutical drugs. The company was founded by John F. Queeny who passed control of the company to his son Edgar Queeny in 1928. Edgar Queeny is responsible for growing Monsanto into an industrial giant before his retirement in 1960.
In the 1970s, an organic chemist employed by Monsanto had discovered glyphosate, an herbicide that killed almost every weed. This discovery led to the production of Roundup, a product that became a farmer and home gardener known brand by the late 1970s. By the 1990s Monsanto had a huge breakthrough when the company created genetically modified crop seeds that were resistant to Roundup. This enabled farmers to use the seeds with Roundup—avoiding weeds and extra laborious tilling of their crops.
Monsanto continued its legacy of growth, and in the 1990s, acquired Calgene Inc., DEKALB Genetics, and other biotechnology firms making Monsanto a leader in research and development of genetically modified crops.
Beginning in the 2000s, Monsanto became entrenched in litigation for its Roundup product which was allegedly causing cancer to users of the weed killer. Luckily for Monsanto, in 2018 Bayer AG acquired Monsanto for around $63 billion dollars and their hefty litigation.
HISTORY OF ROUNDUP
Roundup was first developed by the Monsanto Company in the 1970s. A Monsanto organic chemist, John. E. Franz, first discovered the herbicide glyphosate in 1970 while working in the Agricultural Division.
Prior to Franz’ discovery of glyphosate and the creation of Roundup, Farmers would use herbicides that had to be evenly spread through the soil to form a barrier that would stop any sprouting weeds. In order to ensure the herbicide worked efficiently, the farmers were forced to laboriously till their crops to keep the herbicide spread and active throughout the crop soil.
With the introduction of Roundup in 1974, Farmers were able to decrease their need to till their crops as the RoundUp formula killed almost every weed that emerged. Later, in the 1990s, the Monsanto Company also created genetically modified crops that were resistant to RoundUp.
RoundUp also became a household name and commonly used herbicide across the US and globally. It is used by homeowners to control weeds in their lawns, plants, pathways, and gardens.
In 2018, the Monsanto Company was acquired by Bayer AG. Bayer has since been involved in a multi-district litigation that has centralized the tens of thousands of claims currently pending against the companies wherein the plaintiffs allege their cancers were caused by using Roundup.
DOES ROUNDUP CAUSE CANCER
It has long been debated and studied whether Roundup causes cancer. Not only is it inconclusive, many agencies have conflicting conclusions, from “there is no link to cancer” to it “probably is a carcinogen.” Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup has been the center of many of the carcinogen studies, however, Roundup is made up of many ingredients that may make it more toxic to humans than isolated glyphosate.
GLYPHOSATE—ROUNDUP ACTIVE INGREDIENT
The main active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. Glyphosate is a broad spectrum systemic weed killer. It is used by farmers and gardeners to kill broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with plants and crops.
Glyphosate works by absorption through a plants foliage and into the growing points. Once absorbed, the glyphosate inhibits an enzyme involved in a metabolic pathway crucial for plants and microorganisms.
Glyphosate is made up of glyphosate salt and other ingredients that help stabilize the weed killer and allow it to penetrate the plant.
SURFACTANT POLYETHOXYLATED TALLOW AMINE
Plaintiffs in the Roundup MDL No. 2741 argue that the presence of surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine mixed with glyphosate renders Roundup even more toxic to humans.
Surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine is added to the Roundup product and other glyphosate herbicides as a wetting agent. However, it is only approved for terrestrial use in the United States as it is toxic to aquatic organisms. It is also important to note that this ingredient, along with other inert ingredients such as solvents, preservatives, etc., are not usually listed on product labels.
CONFLICTING CONCLUSIONS OF CARCINOGENIC RISK TO HUMANS
There are arguments on both sides and in the middle as to whether Roundup causes cancer. Roundup, along with multiple prominent herbicide regulatory agencies, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, have taken the stance that there is little or no evidence that glyphosate poses a carcinogen or genotoxic risk to humans. Bayer and Monsanto also point to the hundreds of scientific studies that have been performed to date that conclude there is no link between glyphosate and cancer. However, some skeptics question the integrity of these studies, especially the many funded by Monsanto.
In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The WHO’s conclusions were based on animal studies, observational studies and test tube studies.
In addition, in 2016 the European Union took a poll that showed 66 percent of respondents wanted a ban on glyphosates. However, following this poll, in 2017 the EU states voted to extend the license of the weed killer for another 5 years. This caused unrest amongst the EU countries and led to individual country bans on the herbicide.
Then in 2019, a group of scientists from UC Berkeley published a groundbreaking study regarding glyphosate. The scientists performed a meta-analysis study that took data from six studies, consisting of 65,000 people, and focused on those who had the highest levels of glyphosate exposure. The scientists found people exposed to the highest levels of glyphosate had a 41 percent higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This study did receive criticism for using data from past studies and for picking and choosing which information to focus on, but it still had an impact on the Roundup litigation and the herbicide community’s view of glyphosate herbicides.
Although there are arguments for and against the use of glyphosates as a weed killer, it is still inconclusive whether glyphosate causes cancer.
INJURIES ALLEGEDLY CAUSED BY ROUNDUP
Tens of thousands of plaintiffs have filed lawsuits alleging they developed cancer after using Roundup. Plaintiffs allege they used Roundup and developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or other cancers after using the Roundup weed killer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma originates in the lymphatic system which is the disease fighting system that runs throughout your body. With this cancer, tumors develop from lymphocytes in your lymph nodes. It can also spread to other parts of the lymphatic system to include, vessels, tonsils, adenoids, spleen, thymus, and bone marrow.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more popular than Hodgkin lymphoma and has many subtypes. The two most popular subtypes are Diffuse Large B-Cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.
Some signs and symptoms may include:
- Painless, swollen lymph nodes (neck, groin or arm pits)
- Abdominal pain
- Night sweats;
- Unexplained weight loss,
- Chest pain of trouble breathing.
To date, doctors do not know the cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but some risk factors may include:
- Medications that suppress your immune system
- Infections with certain viruses and bacteria
- Chemicals (that kill insects and weeds)
- Older age (most common in people over 60 years old)
Caring for non-Hodgkin lymphoma can consist of a large team of doctors, which may include hematologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, bone marrow transplant specialists, surgeons and dermatologists. Along with the specialists are multiple therapies and treatments which may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biological therapy and a bone marrow transplant.
The survival rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma vary with each stage and type, but normally this disease has a high rate of survival.
CHRONIC LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (“CLL”) is a rare form of cancer and begins in a person’s B-cells, a white blood cell type, usually in the bone marrow. B cells are a vitally important part of your immune system as they defend your body from infections. The “chronic” in CLL’s name stands for the fact that it normally progresses slower than other types of leukemia.
This type of cancer is normally found in older humans and spreads usually through the blood stream and within the bone marrow. However, most patients diagnosed with CLL are asymptomatic. As the disease progresses, patients may experience one or more of the common symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Enlarged spleen
- Enlarged liver
- Unexpected weight loss
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Doctors aren’t certain what starts the process that causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia. What’s known is that something happens to cause a genetic mutation in the DNA of blood producing cells. This mutation causes the blood cells to produce abnormal, ineffective lymphocytes. Beyond being ineffective, these abnormal lymphocytes continue to live and multiply, when normal lymphocytes would die. The abnormal lymphocytes accumulate in the blood and certain organs, where they cause complications.”
Some of the risk factors that may increase your chances of getting CLL include:
- Age – CLL occurs most often in older adults around the age of 70
- Race – Caucasians have a higher risk of developing CLL
- Family History – If your family has a history of CLL or other blood/bone marrow cancers you may have an increased risk of developing CLL
- Chemical Exposure – Use of some herbicides and pesticides have been linked to an increased risk of developing CLL
Treatment of CLL depends on the stage of the cancer, the signs and symptoms experienced, a person’s overall health, and their preferences. At the early stages of CLL you may not need treatment, but as it progresses to the intermediate and advanced stages the doctor may recommend beginning treatment. These treatments can include:
- Targeted Drug Therapy
- Bone Marrow Transplant
Over the past decades science has been able to improve the survival rates from CLL to around 83 percent.
DO YOU HAVE A CASE AGAINST ROUNDUP?
If you used Roundup commercially for work or in your home garden and developed any kind of cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover for the harm you have suffered.
We know it is important to choose the best law firm to represent you—especially if you are a victim of cancer. Rest assured Gomez Trial Attorneys has extensive experience in prosecuting cases against pharmaceutical companies and wants to fight for you. In fact, Gomez Trial Attorneys has a team of attorneys dedicated to the Roundup cases who are ready to assist you with your claim. We offer a free consultation to discuss your potential Roundup case and legal rights.
Gomez Trial Attorneys was founded by John Gomez 15 years ago. Since then, John and his experienced team of trial lawyers have been able to recover over $750,000,000 for their injured clients and have earned 5 stars on Google and Facebook from their wonderful clients. Gomez Trial Attorneys have also been named Top Lawyers in a variety of fields, including personal injury, products liability, mass torts, insurance and corporate litigation.
To submit your case for evaluation, view client testimonials or past case results, and to learn more about the actions Gomez Trial Attorneys are currently involved in, contact us today.
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