(October 8, 2019) – Monsanto has not won a single Roundup trial, but it has succeeded in delaying the final trial that was scheduled for 2019. A St. Louis judge ruled this week that the final Monsanto Roundup trial of 2019 will be indefinitely delayed. It was to have been the last trial in 2019 against Monsanto over the alleged cancer-causing properties of its weed killer Roundup. The trial had been scheduled to start next week.
St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Michael Mullen announced Oct. 4 that the Oct. 15 Roundup trial brought by plaintiff Walter Winston would be delayed. Like thousands of other plaintiffs in federal and California multidistrict litigation, Mr. Winston claims Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other serious injuries. Further details of Mr.Winston’s claims were not at hand.
The court said: “The parties … have requested that the court take the trial … off calendar.” The court then set a status conference for February 2020.
The postponement means the next Roundup trial will likely take place in January 2020 in California’s Lake County, in a case brought by a minor with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Plaintiffs 3-0 in Roundup Trials
The Roundup litigation has, so far, seen three enormous verdicts in three trials. Judges reduced the amounts awarded by each of three juries ( some would say “arbitrarily reduced” them) , citing various reasons, but the verdicts have nonetheless stood. In July 2019, a California state judge cut a couple’s earlier $2 billion jury verdict award to $86.7 million. In that same month, a California federal judge reduced an $80 million verdict to $25 million in the second Roundup lawsuit to go to trial. And then in the first trial over Roundup’s links to cancer, a San Francisco jury’s $289 million verdict from August 2018 was reduced by a judge to $78 million.
Bayer, which purchased Monsanto last summer shortly before the first huge verdict hit the company, said it continues to focus on appeals in the three cases Monsanto lost. Those legal efforts include trying to hide behind the fig leaf of the EPA’s duplicitous approval of glyphosate. The approval was duplicitous because some agency scientists rejected approval of the weed killer, citing the same cancer concerns Monsanto now faces in more than 13,000 Roundup lawsuits. Years later, the EPA inexplicably changed course, with at least two of the original EPA scientist objectors refusing to sign off on Roundup.
Monsanto Settlement a Fiction?
While Monsanto lawyers work behind the scenes to overturn jury verdicts with dubious legal arguments about captured regulatory agencies like the EPA, attorney Kenneth Feinberg — who brokered settlements for victims in GM recall litigation and for victims of the heinous Sept. 1, 2001 Black Op — is reportedly working to broker a settlement. However, in early August 2019, Mr. Feinberg dismissed as “pure fiction” media reports that Bayer was offering billions to end the claims.
Mr. Feinberg was hired in May 2019 to begin settlement talks, but said then that mediation was still in its early stages.
Retailers hit with Roundup Lawsuits
Two retailers, Home Depot and Lowe’s, have also been hit with failure-to-warn class claims over glyphosate, one of the ingredients in the Roundup’s poison cocktail.
IARC: Glyphosate probably Carcinogenic
The Roundup litigation was jump started in 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the U.N.’s World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. IARC said non-Hodgkin lymphoma was the type of cancer most closely linked with glyphosate.
Final Monanto Roundup Trial of 2019 delayed
The case is Winston et al. v. Monsanto Co., case number 1822-CC00515, in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis.