Roundup Class Action Lawsuit

Roundup Class Action Lawsuit

Jury Awards Groundskeeper $289.2 Million in Landmark Monsanto Roundup Verdict

  • Monsanto markets Roundup weed killer as safe because its active ingredient, glyphosate, targets an enzyme found only in plants.
  • This claim is “false, misleading and deceptive,” according to Roundup cancer attorneys.
  • Human microbiota (bacteria, fungi, etc.), mucous membranes and skin depend on the enzyme glyphosate targets.
  • Health risks follow when glyphosate disrupts human microbiota.

Roundup BottleOn June 20, 2017, six people from California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto. The class action involves allegations that accuse Monsanto of falsely promoting Roundup products as interfering with an enzyme that is found only in plants, but not “in people or pets,” even though beneficial bacteria in the human gut, mucus membranes and skin depend on the same enzyme that Roundup targets.

Filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, the lawsuit names Monsanto Co. of Missouri and Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. of Ohio, which markets and distributes Roundup in several U.S. states. The law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman and six other law firms filed the class action on behalf of the plaintiffs and class members.

At the heart of the class action litigation is Monsanto’s claim throughout their marketing that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, targets an enzyme that is found only in plants. This assertion continues to appear in Monsanto’s video advertisements for their websites and YouTube channel.

However, according to the class action lawsuit, Monsanto’s claim that glyphosate targets an enzyme found only in plants is “false, misleading, and deceptive, as the enzyme that glyphosate targets is found in people and pets—specifically, in beneficial gut bacteria critical to their health and well-being, including their immune system, digestion, allergies, metabolism, and even their brain function.” What is Glyphosate and How Does it Harm People? Monsanto introduced glyphosate herbicide in 1974 as a broad spectrum herbicide and crop desiccant. Since its introduction, glyphosate has grown into one of the most widely used agricultural products in the world, accounting for roughly 25 percent of the global herbicide market. A 2016 study found that approximately two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate used in the U.S. between 1974 and 2014 was sprayed in just the last ten years.

  • Hardeman v. Monsanto Co. $80 Million
  • Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Co. $289.2 Million
  • Pilliod et al. v, Monsanto Co. $2 Billion
/

What is Glyphosate and How Does it Harm People?

Monsanto introduced glyphosate herbicide in 1974 as a broad spectrum herbicide and crop desiccant. Since its introduction, glyphosate has grown into one of the most widely used agricultural products in the world, accounting for roughly 25 percent of the global herbicide market. A 2016 study found that approximately two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate used in the U.S. between 1974 and 2014 was sprayed in just the last ten years.

WHOIn 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. The IARC report found limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans exposed to glyphosate, and “convincing evidence that glyphosate can cause cancer in laboratory animals.” According to the report, the cancers most associated with glyphosate exposure were non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other hematopoietic cancers.

IARC’s conclusion kick-started litigation against Monsanto, filed by individuals who allege exposure to Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“The Baum, Hedlund firm has some of the top legal minds in the country; they are driven, determined, trustworthy, ethical and passionate.”

- From Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms
  • Best Law Firms 2020
    Best Law Firms 2020

    The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

  • AV Top Ranked Law Firm
    AV Top Ranked Law Firm

    Less than one-half of one percent of firms across the nation have achieved this ranking. A firm must have a high percentage of lawyers who have achieved the prestigious AV® Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.

  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
    National Board of Trial Advocacy

    The National Board of Trial Advocacy is dedicated to bettering the quality of trial advocacy in our nation’s courtrooms and helping consumers find experienced and highly qualified trial lawyers.

  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
    Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers

    The Bar Register is the definitive guide to the most distinguished law firms in America. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field.

  • Nation's Top 1%
    Nation's Top 1%

    The NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Only the elite few attorneys are invited to join the NADC, less than 1% of practicing attorneys in the U.S.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.  Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements.

  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers

    Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    National Trial Lawyers Top 100

    The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 recognized the law firms of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, the Miller Firm and Audet & Partners with the 2019 Trial Team of the Year award (in the Mass Torts category) for their work in the groundbreaking case of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Company.

  • Elite Trial Lawyers
    Elite Trial Lawyers

    NLJ and American Lawyer Media honor law firms and attorneys as Elite Trial Lawyers for their cutting-edge legal work on behalf of plaintiffs in practice areas ranging from mass torts to securities litigation.

  • AV Rated
    AV Rated

    An AV® rating reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence. The rating signifies the highest legal ability, and very high adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence.

  • Listed in Best Lawyers
    Listed in Best Lawyers

    Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

/

Glyphosate Targets an Enzyme That is Vitally Important for the Gut

“Health risks follow when glyphosate disrupts the microbiota cells that regulate numerous biological processes such as the immune system and digestion.” R. Brent Wisner, Roundup Cancer Attorney

It is undisputed that glyphosate kills weeds by interfering with the “shikimate pathway,” a metabolic sequence that synthesizes vital amino acids. Glyphosate interferes with 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP), disrupting the fifth of six enzymatic steps in the shikimate pathway, which processes aromatic amino acids. Inhibiting the shikimate pathway causes an aromatic amino acid deficiency, which eventually causes plants to die by starvation.

Beneficial bacteria in the human gut (and the guts of other mammals), on which our immune systems rely, produce and utilize EPSP. A 2013 study conducted by Awad A. Shehata found that: “A reduction of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract microbiota by ingestion of glyphosate could disturb the normal gut bacterial community.”

Another study from 2014 entitled ‘Rheumatic Diseases and the Microbiome’ reported the following:

“[o]ver the first several years of life each of us establishes a community of microorganisms that are commensal and inhabit niches on skin and mucous membranes. These microorganisms are collectively known as the microbiome, or microbiota, and are predominately obtained from one’s mother…gut-associated organisms are critical to the development and activation of the immune system, especially with regard to cell types intimately associated with autoimmunity.” Scofiled R.H.,Rheumatic Diseases and the Microbiome. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 2014; 17: 489–492

What is the Difference Between an Individual Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit and the Roundup Class Action?

Roundup Class Action SprayerThe class action litigation against Monsanto is markedly different than the individual lawsuits Monsanto faces throughout the country. The individual lawsuits seek remedy for personal injuries (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) sustained as a result of exposure to Roundup. These lawsuits are filed by farmers, farm workers, horticulturalists, landscapers, gardeners, government employees, and a host of other people who were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after exposure to Roundup. These individuals allege Monsanto knew about the link between exposure to Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but failed to warn consumers.

Monsanto faces individual lawsuits in the following courts:

  • Federal Litigation: MDL 2741, (Multidistrict Litigation), U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco.
  • California State Litigation: Case No. RG17853420, State of California Superior Court, County of Alameda.
  • St. Louis Circuit Court Litigation: Case No 1722-CC00796, Case No. 1722-CC00796 and Case No. 1722-CC00799, City of St. Louis Circuit Court for the 22nd Circuit, St. Louis, Missouri.

The Monsanto Roundup class action, on the other hand, involves consumers who allege Monsanto engaged in violations of trade and business practice laws. The class representatives say they would never have purchased Roundup products had they known that glyphosate targets an enzyme that exists in the human body and the bodies of certain mammals, contrary to Monsanto’s marketing.

The class action accuses Monsanto of unjustly enriching themselves as a result of class members purchasing more Roundup products and paying more for Roundup products than they would have otherwise in absence of the alleged false marketing claims.

What Compensation is Available in the Roundup Class Action?

Plaintiffs and class members who are participating in the Roundup class action say they suffered economic losses, because they purchased more Roundup weed killer products and/or paid more for Roundup than they otherwise would have had they not been deceived by Monsanto’s marketing.

Accordingly, the plaintiffs seek compensation for themselves and class members equal to the amount they paid for Roundup products, which they would never have purchased had they been adequately informed that glyphosate targets an enzyme that exists in both humans and animals.

Unlike the individual Roundup cancer lawsuits filed throughout the country, plaintiffs and class members involved in the Monsanto class action litigation are not seeking damages for personal injuries.

Firm Reviews

What Our Clients Are Saying
  • Top Legal Minds in the Country

    “The Baum, Hedlund firm has some of the top legal minds in the country; they are driven, determined, trustworthy, ethical and passionate.”

    - From Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms
  • I Can’t Imagine a Better Law Firm

    “Multiple lawyers recommended Baum Hedlund to me and I have been consistently impressed with the quality of their work.”

    - Best Law Firms Survey
  • Diligent & Professional Representation

    “Thanks to your efforts I was able to recover from a tragic experience and turn my life around for the best.”

    - W.T.
  • Our Best Interest Was Always Number One on Your List

    “A special thank you to your Spanish-speaking staff for the extra effort put into this case. The language barrier was never a problem, and we are so very thankful to them. Your name holds much respect in our family.”

    - G.C. & C.C
  • We Have Never Met a More Wonderful Group of People

    “It is obvious that the people at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, & Goldman believe in what they do. And that you all really care about your clients.”

    - The B. Family
/