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.

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.

Slides & Recording for NTL Webinar: Mass Torts Update for Plaintiff Attorneys

Click through the slides below as you listen to the recording.

5 Mass Torts for Plaintiff Attorneys Today
Broadcast August 31, 2016

What you will discover:

For lawyers starting a Mass Torts practice, picking the right cases and having an effective law firm marketing campaign are essential. Our presenter John Ray will update plaintiff attorneys about 5 key Mass Torts:

  • New Pradaxa docket in Connecticut
  • IVC Filter
  • Xarelto
  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics
  • Emerging: Roundup litigation

A Mass Tort is ordinarily a product liability case where hundreds of plaintiffs file suit against a pharmaceutical company. These cases are typically collected into one of 300 federal multi-district litigation dockets (MDLs).

Mass Torts is a multi-billion dollar immature market, with economies of scale and only a single barrier to entry. You have already overcome the barrier if you are admitted to practice law.

John Ray professionalAbout our presenter

John Ray has been a leading consultant to the Mass Tort attorneys for more than a decade. His unique skill sets make him well suited to both teaching and consulting in the Mass Tort arena.

He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brenau University in Atlanta and started a pharmaceutical and medical device company right out of school, selling it in an eight-figure deal when he was 35.

John’s tenure in the pharmaceutical and medical device field allowed him to gain an in-depth understanding of FDA regulatory matters, as well as, a thorough understanding of the science and epidemiology related to gaining FDA approval to market pharmaceuticals and medical devices. John’s inside knowledge of how “Big Pharma” operates gives him a unique perspective and skill sets that are very useful to Mass Tort plaintiff firms.

When John brought his “insider knowledge” and business acumen to the Plaintiff Mass Tort space, one of the first things he recognized was a lack of common terminology and well-defined metrics. John realized that firms were expressing the same concepts, but were not using the same terminology. As a result, John set out to define common terms and create methods for formulating important metrics for use by Mass Tort firms when evaluating litigations. The terminology and metrics John Ray developed are now commonly used by major Mass Tort Law firms.

John is highly sought after and writes sought-after white papers about both current and emerging torts. The accuracy of his analysis of emerging and ongoing litigations is unmatched.

The fact that John not an attorney has proven to be an asset. John thinks like a business person, employing creative problem solving and possesses an extensive set of business skills and industry-specific knowledge. He assists Mass Tort firms in making sound business decisions before and during any litigation they are involved in or are considering becoming involved in.

John is an expert at evaluating cases and looks at each tort as an individual “investment,” which can be quantified resulting in risk mitigation for you and your firm.

Contrary to popular belief, adding Mass Torts to your practice is not gambling, nor is there a secret society of Mass Tort attorneys. The only information you lack to be successful in the practice of Mass Torts is a business plan. As John says, this type of law is 80% business and 20% law. If you understand the business principles of Mass Tort law, you will be successful.