An Illinois woman who claims exposure to the weed killer Roundup caused her to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma subpoenaed the former CEO of agri-business Monsanto alleging the company knew that its herbicide could cause cancer but failed to warn consumers.

Hugh Grant served as CEO of St. Louis-based Monsanto from 2003 until the company was sold to Germany-based Bayer AG in June 2018. He is fighting the subpoena, arguing that he is not a scientist or regulatory expert, and that he already testified in a deposition.

Plaintiff Sharlean Gordon claims she used Roundup on her property in South Perkin, Illinois, for 25 years, and was later diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Her lawsuit was filed in July 2017. Her trial was originally scheduled for August in St. Louis County Circuit Court, but was pushed back to Jan. 27 in an effort to encourage Bayer to begin settlement talks with attorneys for more than 42,000 plaintiffs suing the company over cancer claims.

Bayer, and Monsanto before it, have maintained that Roundup is safe. However, in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen, citing cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in farmers who used the weed killer.

Grant has not had to testify live in any of the three previous Roundup cancer trials, all of which have taken place in California, and all of which have resulted in multi-million-dollar verdicts for plaintiffs. Since Gordon’s trial is in St. Louis, where Grant resides, Gordon’s attorneys sought to get him on the stand in person.

Beasley Allen is investigating cases involving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma related to the commercial application of Roundup/glyphosate. For more information or to discuss a possible claim, contact John Tomlinson, Danielle Ingram, Michael Dunphy or Rhon Jones.

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