Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. | Baum Hedlund Co-Counsel

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is co-counsel with Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman in the Monsanto Roundup cancer litigation and the California wildfire litigation. Kennedy joined with the firm after working together on the mass toxic tort case against SoCalGas stemming from the gas well blowout in Porter Ranch, California.

Named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River, RFK, Jr.’s reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from his proven track record of successful legal actions.

Bobby is Founder and President of Waterkeeper Alliance and Founder of Children’s Health Defense. Until 2017, he served as Senior Attorney for the Natural Resource Defense Council and Member and Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper. He was also a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. He is currently professor emeritus at Pace. Earlier in his career, he served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City.

He has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada, successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands. Bobby is also credited with leading the fight to protect New York City’s water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development.

In addition to his environmental activism, Kennedy has also worked on several noted political campaigns, including Edward M. Kennedy’s campaign for president in 1980, Al Gore’s presidential bid in 2000 and John Kerry’s in 2004.

A noted author, Mr. Kennedy’s published political books include the New York Times’ bestseller Crimes Against Nature (2004), The Riverkeepers (1997), and Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr: A Biography (1977). He has also published three children’s books, including Robert Smalls: The Boat Thief (2008), American Heroes: Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War (2007) and St. Francis of Assisi (2005). In 2018 he published, American Values: Lessons I Learned from My Family.

Mr. Kennedy has also contributed articles that have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, EcoWatch, Outside Magazine and The Village Voice, among many others.

Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He also studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. After graduating from law school, he attended Pace University Law School, where he was awarded a Masters in Environmental Law.

Monsanto Roundup Litigation

Monsanto is the manufacturer of Roundup, one of the most widely-used agricultural products in modern history. Since the introduction of Roundup in the mid 1970s, Monsanto has represented Roundup as safe and effective for use. One advertisement represented Roundup as being “safer than table salt” and “practically non-toxic” to humans.

However, in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer issued a report on glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup. According to the report, glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.

De-designated internal documents known as the Monsanto Papers show that Monsanto has known about Roundup’s link to cancer for many years, but rather than informing consumers about the dangers, Monsanto buried the health risks associated with Roundup while sales around the world skyrocketed.

Outraged by Monsanto’s actions, farmers, agricultural workers, gardeners, landscapers, government workers and others have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, claiming that exposure to Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“I don’t think it’s a surprise that after 20 years Monsanto has known about the cancer-causing properties of this chemical and has tried to stop the public from knowing it,” Kennedy said to ABC 7 News San Francisco about the Dewayne Johnson trial against Monsanto.

After the jury in the Johnson Monsanto trial delivered a verdict of $289M in favor of Mr. Johnson, Mr. Kennedy said to the Associated Press, “The jury found Monsanto acted with malice and oppression because they knew what they were doing was wrong and doing it with reckless disregard for human life. This should send a strong message to the boardroom of Monsanto.”