There’s a lot that’s just happened in the national litigation alleging Monsanto’s (now owned by Bayer) Roundup weedkiller causes cancer. On Wednesday, St. Louis County Court Judge Brian May told court personnel that the Gordon v. Monsanto trial, slated to begin August 19, will be postponed until January. The September trial to follow Gordon has also been pushed back. Today, there is talk of a multibillion-dollar settlement to end the 18,000 lawsuits surrounding the Roundup-cancer connection.
This all comes after months of losses for Monsanto and Bayer. In the first Roundup trial, school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who is suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was ultimately awarded $78.5 million. Another jury awarded more than $80 million to Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup for more than 25 years on his property. More recently, Alva and Alberta Pilliod were awarded $2 billion in punitive damages and an additional $55 million for their medical care and pain and suffering. The husband and wife both suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup for decades.
Jennifer Moore, who serves as co-lead counsel in the litigation with Aimee Wagstaff, referred to one of the verdicts as history making. It’s the tireless legal work of the plaintiffs’ trial team that has made it possible to push massive companies to answer for their dangerous products.
Bayer and Monsanto are two of many corporations that trial lawyers have held accountable after their products threatened people’s health and lives. In 2017, a jury awarded a woman more than $110 million in a lawsuit claiming she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. The win by Ted Meadows, Danielle Mason and David Dearing of Beasley Allen and by Allen Smith of the Smith Law Firm was particularly outstanding, as this case was selected for trial by the defense. That same year, Jane Conroy and the plaintiffs’ team secured a $247 million verdict in the bellwether trial over J&J’s DePuy Orthopaedics Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants.
The list goes on, but without the trial lawyers who have made a career out of standing up to Goliath-sized companies, these staggering victories would be impossible. We at Milestone will continue to cheer on the plaintiffs’ Roundup team as they seek justice for the thousands of people who were harmed.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).