Roundup and cancer

RoundupA federal jury last week ordered Monsanto to pay $80 million to a California cancer victim who had used the weedkiller Roundup for 30 years. Bayer, which purchased Monsanto, reportedly plans to appeal the verdict. What do you need to know about Roundup, its ingredient glyphosate, and its potential to cause cancer? Kaiser Health News has a look. For example, did you know Roundup isn’t the only weedkiller that contains glyphosate?

Also, The Washington Post has more on why politicians from both parties haven’t done more to regulate pesticides.

FDA investigating possible breast implant-related cancer

The Food and Drug Administration is holding a second round of meetings on whether breast implants may be to blame for 457 cases of cancer that have been diagnosed in women who have undergone the procedure, CBS News reports. Some women who have textured implants are reporting they’ve been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. NBC News reports some of the victims testified in the FDA hearings held Monday, along with plastic surgeons, and breast implant manufacturers. CNN reports the FDA has sent warning letters to two breast implant makers which haven’t complied with requirements to conduct studies of the long term effects of the implants. Inside Edition has this video report on women who marched in Washington to get textured implants banned by the FDA.

NTL member Aimee Wagstaff in Roundup Trial

RoundupNational Trial Lawyers member Aimee Wagstaff is representing a California man in federal court who is suing Bayer AG over its weed killer Roundup, which Wagstaff believes caused her client’s cancer. Edwin Hardeman says he started using Roundup, manufactured by Bayer subsidiary Monsanto, in the 1980s to control poison oak and weeds on his property, reports Raw Story. Doctors diagnosed Hardeman with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015, and he filed his lawsuit a year later. More than 760 of the 9,300 Roundup lawsuits are consolidated in San Francisco Federal Court. In her opening statement, Wagstaff told jurors that the chemicals in Roundup make it much more toxic than glyphosate by itself. The nine-member jury will decide whether to agree with Wagstaff that the chemicals in Roundup caused Hardeman’s cancer. Last August, a California state jury awarded $289 million in damages to a cancer victim who had used Roundup, but that amount was later reduced to $78 million.

The Associated Press has more on the trial:

Judge to allow controversial evidence in Roundup trial

RoundupA federal judge overseeing lawsuits over Roundup weed killer is tentatively allowing evidence that defense attorneys wanted excluded, Reuters reports. US District Judge Vince Chhabria says attorneys may introduce some evidence that Monsanto tried to ghostwrite studies and influence the findings of scientists and regulators, calling it “super relevant.” Plaintiff’s attorneys say corporate misconduct is inextricably linked to their claims that glyphosate, a chemical in what Reuters calls “the world’s most widely used herbicide,” can cause cancer. According to Reuters:

Under Chhabria’s order, that evidence would be allowed only if glyphosate was found to have caused plaintiff Edwin Hardeman’s cancer and the trial proceeded to a second phase to determine Bayer’s liability.

 

The order applies to Hardeman’s case, which is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 25, and two other upcoming cases. There are some 620 Roundup cases before Chhabria, out of more than 9,300 nationwide.

Podcast: What’s next for Bayer after Roundup verdict

RoundupBayer may be suffering from buyer’s remorse after buying Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, last year. A California jury has awarded $289 million dollars to a groundskeeper who blames Roundup for causing his cancer. Bayer’s stock dropped 10 percent after the verdict. What’s next for the weedkiller maker? In this podcast, Marketplace reports that Bayer will likely face increasing legal costs as well as possible consumer backlash.

Judge rules scientific evidence shows Roundup can cause cancer

RoundupA federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that plaintiffs have put forth reliable scientific evidence that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller can cause cancer. Andrus Wagstaff partner and National Trial Lawyers member Aimee Wagstaff is national co-lead counsel of that federal litigation and says she “is pleased [her] clients will have their day in court to hold Monsanto liable for their injuries.” The Honorable Vince Chhabria of the United States District Court of Northern California issued an order denying Monsanto’s requests to dismiss the case. Wagstaff says this is a huge victory nationwide for people harmed by Roundup exposure.

Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, the company which developed Roundup almost 40 years ago, with complaints that Roundup exposure caused their Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a blood borne cancer. All of those lawsuits which were filed in federal courts throughout the United States were consolidated before Judge Chhabria in In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2741). Under the federal rules, Judge Chhabria is charged with conducting all pre-trial proceedings in the combined litigation. Lead counsel for the plaintiffs in that litigation include Aimee Wagstaff, of Andrus Wagstaff, Denver, CO; Robin Greenwald of Weitz and Luxenberg of New York City, NY; and Mike Miller of the Miller Law Firm, of Alexandria, VA.

The proceedings before the Court involved the Court’s obligation under the Supreme Court case of Daubert v. Merrill to act as a gatekeeper to ensure that expert testimony offered at trial is founded upon sound scientific methodology. In an extensive written ruling, Judge Chhabria declared that plaintiffs proffered scientific testimony founded upon sound scientific principles and certain testimony that Roundup can cause Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma would be allowed to go to the jury in future trials. “Today’s ruling marks a significant victory in the fight for justice on behalf of our clients who were injured by exposure to Roundup,” said Wagstaff. “We look forward to our day in court and the opportunity to hold Monsanto accountable.”

Additional lawsuits have been filed in state court in Missouri, California, Montana, and Delaware. Those cases are following independent tracks to trial.

Florida Jury Awards $3.22 Million for Interrupted Cancer Treatments In Addition to Injuries Caused by Tractor Crash

In a two-week trial conducted by attorneys Brian Denney and Ed Ricci, a Palm Beach County jury awarded security guard Barry Davis $3,220,000 for damages incurred when his vehicle was struck by a tractor towing a grass mower. The verdict was based not only on Davis’s immediate injuries from the crash, but on his consequent inability to continue timely cancer treatments.

Tractor driver Dale Vannelli was hauling a large, heavy commercial grass mower called a bushhog when he hit Davis’s Ford Mustang on the driver’s side as Davis neared an intersection. Davis, who has been traveling 76 miles an hour in a 50 miles per hour zone, was airlifted to a nearby hospital, suffering a left hemopneumothorax, which required a thoracostomy; a splenic rupture, which required exploratory laparotomy and splenectomy; fractures of his left clavicle; and multiple rib, lumbar, and other injuries. He was hospitalized for 22 agonizing days of surgeries, therapy and rehabilitation.

Prior to the December 4, 2013 crash, Davis had been undergoing radiation treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma on his left cheek/jaw area, and the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. For two months after the accident, due to his extensive injuries, he could not undergo critical cancer treatments. Less than two years later, doctors found that the squamous cell carcinoma had returned to Davis’s cheek and had already metastasized to the parotid gland. This diagnosis resulted in extensive surgery to remove the tumor, massive skin grafts from his right arm to repair surgical areas, and additional chemotherapy and radiation.

Because the crash with Vannelli had adversely affected his ability to treat his cancer successfully, Davis asked Board Certified attorney Brian Denney of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley to represent him in a legal action to hold the tractor driver and his employer, South Florida Bushhog Service, Inc., accountable for the damages.

“There was no question that the tractor crash was the catalyst for a one-two punch that resulted in life-threatening injuries and unimaginable suffering for Mr. Davis,” said Denney. “When the defendants refused to accept responsibility, we were forced to take the case to court.”

Defendants maintained that Davis was solely liable for the crash because he was exceeding the speed limit, and that Davis’s recurrent cancer was not related to the interruption of treatment caused by the accident. They argued that, since Davis had a history of other superficial skin cancers, the recurrence on his left cheek would have occurred regardless of the crash. They also argued that Davis should not have been driving because he had received cancer treatments the day of the accident.

However, in the course of a two-week trial, the Searcy Denney attorneys disputed defense attorneys’ allegations with the sworn statements of a treating oncologist, who testified that the cancer recurrence was caused by the lapse in Davis’s treatments. The jury agreed.

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley is a Florida-based trial law firm with more than 40 years’ experience handling personal injury cases. The firm has been named by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” as a 2017 First Tier “Best Law Firm” in West Palm Beach for six practice areas and in Tallahassee for two practice areas.