The number of lawsuits alleging exposure to the weed killer Roundup causes cancer are “coming in so fast, I expect that by the end of the year that we will have about a thousand cases,” Beasley Allen attorney Rhon Jones told Business Alabama. “That’s a big number, but that is how active this area is.”
Jones, along with Beasley Allen Attorney John Tomlinson, is representing Alabamians who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, after using Roundup, including a yard maintenance worker and someone who used the herbicide extensively on his own property. Both Jones and Tomlinson say it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Word is getting out about the link between Roundup and cancer, and people are calling the firm on a weekly basis, they said. To date, more than 12,000 lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Roundup. Recent verdicts have helped spread the word.
Bayer AG acquired Roundup maker Monsanto for $63 billion last year, and has consistently denied that Roundup is dangerous despite the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015 classifying glyphosate, the active ingredient in the pesticide, as a likely carcinogen.
Bayer faced its first trial over cancer claims with Roundup last August. A California jury returned with a $289 million verdict. Since then, two other trials have taken place, each resulting in multi-million-dollar verdicts. The jury in the third trial, brought by a husband and wife who both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, awarded both plaintiffs $1 billion in punitive damages alone.
“Clearly, the evidence was so damning that the jury was sending a message with the $2 billion punitive,” Jones told Business Alabama, adding, “There is a trend here that clearly people are becoming upset about the use of Roundup and cancer and the economic loss that comes from contracting cancer.”
Jones said that he believes the number of cases against Bayer and Monsanto will continue to grow as more people become aware of the weed killer’s cancer link.
“In my opinion,” Jones said, “this is the hottest, most significant litigation going on in the entire country.”