Special Report – RoundUp Round up
This Roundup Litigation Update brought to you by The LegalCalls.com Mass Tort Report. Jeff Keiser, esq.
We’ve noticed a solid uptick in interest surrounding the Roundup litigation over the past few weeks, and we thought that an explanation might be in order.
One of the Biggest MDLs
The Roundup litigation has been one of the biggest MDLs in the country for more than seven years now, and because its cycle is nearing its end, we decided to send out an update focusing on this one case.
By now, we’re all aware that Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer AG, have been fighting claims that the popular weed killer caused cancer and other deadly diseases in people that used it.
There have been trials where each side won, and ultimately, a settlement to resolve the majority of claims. This has been a big money case, and it might still be, even if the time is starting to run out for these claims.
There are two areas worth discussing today
Any time the US Supreme Court speaks to our cases, it’s newsworthy, and last month, it did precisely that. Two trials that ended in large plaintiff verdicts ($2b, later reduced to $87m, and $80m, later reduced to $25m) were submitted to the Court by the defendants.
Good news! The Supreme Court refused to even entertain them, especially good news because part of the appeal was that the $70m punitive damages was unconstitutional.
It appears that Bayer’s strategy of appealing to the Supreme Court will continue, even though they’ve been unsuccessful to date, and I don’t expect anything to change soon.
The Biden administration urged the Court to reject these appeals, a change from the previous administration. More problematic is the fact that defendants have won the last four trials in the litigation, with juries deciding that the link in causation is not strong enough to find liability.
Bayer Sets Aside For Settlements
Despite this winning streak, Bayer has set aside $4.5b for future settlements.
Speaking of settlements, in late-July, Judge Vince Chhabria approved a $45m settlement agreement between Bayer and plaintiffs seeking relief under false advertising and failure to warn claims.
This settlement is separate from the 130,000 cancer cases, many of which have been settled under a different mechanism. $45m sounds like very big money, but this consumer class action settlement will only result in a damage award of approximately $10 per bottle of Roundup purchased.
Roundup & Deadlines
The deadline to submit a claim form under this settlement is October 19, 2022, so the clock is ticking. Importantly, class members under this settlement will maintain their right to sue in the event they have or later develop cancer or other related illness.
The trial process outside the MDL continues in St. Louis, Missouri, Monsanto’s headquarters, where several more Roundup trials are scheduled through the end of 2022 and 2023.
Here’s to hoping plaintiff’s reverse the streak and start getting some more big wins.
The Supreme Court decision can only help towards that goal.
The current case is captioned Carl Alesi, et al. v. Monsanto Company, case number 19SL-CC03617 in St. Louis County Circuit Court, Missouri, and as of today, is still in jury selection.
It’s expected to last 4-6 weeks, and just in case any of you have extra time and the desire, it is being streamed live on CVN.
Craig H. Alinder, Vice President