The St. Louis trial alleging Monsanto’s Roundup caused cancer slated for Aug. 19 has been pushed back to Jan. 27. The order, issued by Judge Brian H. May, did not specify a reason for the delay.

Some have speculated that Bayer (which acquired Monsanto last year) is ramping up to announce it will pay $8 billion to settle the more than 18,000 lawsuits it faces over Roundup cancer claims, but the special master hired to mediate settlement discussions for the multidistrict litigation (MDL) said there is no truth to those claims.

The trial involves the case of Sharlean Gordon, a woman in her 50s who was diagnosed in 2006 with a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She has been “through hell,” per her attorney, having gone through two stem cell transplants, spent time in a nursing home, and is now so disabled she has difficulty getting around. Gordon claims that she used the weed killer Roundup continuously through 2017 before learning of an alleged link between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Studies have linked exposure to glyphosate to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Gordon’s trial was to be the fourth. The first three were held in California, all of which resulted in multi-million-dollar verdicts.

Following the announcement that Gordon’s trial would be pushed back, Bayer issued a statement saying, “With the change in the trial schedule, the appeals of the three completed trials will be a significant focus of the litigation in the months ahead.”

Gordon’s trial has been of interest because it is the first to be held in St. Louis, where Monsanto was headquartered before it was acquired by German-based Bayer. Monsanto has maintained a considerable presence in the city as a major employer.

Beasley Allen is investigating cases involving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma related to the commercial application of Roundup/glyphosate. For more information, contact John Tomlinson or Rhon Jones in our Toxic Torts Section.

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