Monsanto Chemical Works, better known as Monsanto, introduced Roundup in the 1970s. Initially, farmers used the chemical to kill pests on food crops. Unfortunately, the glyphosate-based herbicide caused extensive crop damage. Since then, people have been using Roundup to kill weeds, maintain their lawns and keep pests away from their gardens.
Although Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides are effective, they’ve been linked to serious health problems, including skin irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lung irritation and burns in the mouth. Roundup may also cause several types of cancer. Bayer, which purchased Monsanto in 2018, stopped selling Roundup to residential customers at the beginning of 2023. It’s a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t help people who already have problems due to Roundup’s glyphosate exposure. The Roundup weed killer mass tort lawsuit seeks to hold Bayer accountable for the harmful effects of this product.
Roundup and Lymphoma Risk
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) identified a link between Roundup exposure and several types of lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and thymus gland. These body parts work together to fight infections and prevent too much fluid from accumulating in your body. Roundup exposure may lead to the following types of lymphoma:
- Mantle cell lymphoma
- Hairy cell lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- B-cell lymphoma
- T-cell lymphoma
Roundup has also been linked to some cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a type of cancer that begins in the bone marrow. CLL forms in the white blood cells, which are an important part of your immune system.
Effects of Lymphoma and CLL
At first, the symptoms of lymphoma and CLL are similar to the symptoms caused by less serious medical conditions. For example, many people experience fatigue, which may be due to inadequate sleep, iron deficiency and other problems. By the time someone with one of these cancers visits a doctor, their symptoms may be quite advanced. Other symptoms of Lymphoma and CLL include:
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Shortness of breath
- Losing weight without trying
- Itchy skin
- Night sweats
Exposure to Roundup
Roundup can get into your body via your skin, mouth or nose. For example, if you used Roundup without wearing long sleeves and other protective clothing, it’s possible that your skin absorbed the chemicals. Some people were exposed to Roundup when they ate fruits, vegetables and other items that had been sprayed with it. Because Monsanto marketed Roundup for both residential and commercial use, it’s possible you were exposed simply by using weed killer in your garden or coming into contact with weeds that had been sprayed with Roundup.
That said, some people are more likely than others to have cancer and other health conditions associated with Roundup exposure. They include agricultural workers, landscapers, gardeners, farmers and workers who got paid to spray Roundup in their communities. These people have more use of Roundup than the average consumer and consequently have the highest risk of developing glyphosate-related problems.
Other Diseases Linked to Roundup
Roundup gets a lot of attention for its link to lymphoma and CLL, but it may also cause other systemic illnesses. Contact an attorney if you were exposed to Roundup and later developed any of the following:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Celiac disease
- Heart disease
If you were exposed to Roundup while pregnant, there’s also a chance your child developed a birth defect due to exposure in the womb.
The Roundup Weed Killer Lawsuit
Ever since the IARC announced a link between Roundup and several types of cancer, experienced attorneys have been filing lawsuits against Monsanto and Bayer. As a result, Bayer’s stock price dropped significantly after its purchase of Monsanto. Because there are so many individual lawsuits, courts around the United States have been treating them all like a mass tort claim. A mass tort is when many people are harmed by the same product in the same way. In this case, many people developed cancer, kidney disease, liver disease and other serious health conditions due to their exposure to Roundup.
U.S. courts are using multidistrict litigation (MDL) to make this large volume of cases more manageable. MDL consolidates the cases, streamlining the process of moving them through the court system. This makes it much easier for plaintiffs and defendants to gather information. Bayer and Monsanto filed a motion for summary judgment, but that motion was denied in 2018. Once the motion for summary judgment was denied, the case moved to a bellwether trial.
A bellwether trial is a test trial that helps everyone involved in the case understand what’s likely to happen if the other cases proceed to trial. If a plaintiff wins during the bellwether trial, there’s a good chance more plaintiffs will win during future trials. Many companies use these trials to determine if they should offer to settle or take their chances in a court of law.
Roundup Lawsuits Continue
During one of the first bellwether trials, jurors decided that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in the development of the plaintiff’s lymphoma. Meanwhile, Monsanto and Bayer lost another Roundup lawsuit, with the jury awarding the plaintiff nearly $300 million. These lawsuits were just the beginning.
If you used Roundup and later developed lymphoma, kidney disease, heart disease or another serious medical condition, contact a personal injury attorney with experience filing lawsuits against large companies. Bayer and Monsanto have deep pockets, so they can afford to fight with plaintiffs for as long as necessary. While you wait to meet with an attorney, document as much as you can remember about your Roundup use, such as where you purchased it, when you used it and how often you used it.
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