Roundup is one of the most popular and widely used weedkillers in the world. Roundup was first started in the early 1970s by Monsanto (now owned by pharmaceutical giant Bayer) and it came to dominate the weedkiller market, both commercial and residential. Roundup was everywhere and there had never been a question of whether it was safe.
The end of the Roundup success story began about 5 years ago when it was discovered that chronic exposure to the active ingredient in Roundup (glyphosate) could cause certain types of cancer. This discovery was followed by an inevitable tidal wave of lawsuits from people who have been diagnosed with cancers such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma after prolonged use of Roundup.
Roundup trials soon numbered in the thousands and were grouped into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern California District. Monsanto (and its successor Bayer) has repeatedly refused to admit Roundup is dangerous and has aggressively defended its product in court. After years of civilian discoveries and a series of “trial trials” that resulted in massive verdicts of plaintiffs, Bayer finally gave in and announced that it would pay $ 10 billion to settle all of the Roundup lawsuits.
Roundup Rules Details
Roundup’s settlement is based on a total payment from Bayer of $ 10.9 billion. About $ 8.5 billion to $ 9.5 billion of this settlement payment is intended to settle just over 90,000 existing Roundup cases. This group includes almost all of those Roundup individual lawsuits that are already filed and pending.
Most of the remaining portion of the settlement fund (approximately $ 1.2 billion to $ 2 billion) is set aside to cover any “future” Roundup claims. Future claims include all Roundup cases filed after February 3, 2021. This group of future claims includes Roundup users who have already been diagnosed with cancer but did not receive their case by the deadline AND users from the Roundup who may be diagnosed with cancer in the future.
The fate of future claims would depend on the Panel
The $ 2 billion set aside by Bayer for handling “future” Roundup claims is NOT intended to be used to cover settlements with future claimants. Instead, Bayer will get a 4-year stay on Roundup’s new lawsuits and, in the meantime, $ 1.25 billion will be used to fund a massive research study by a panel of independent scientific experts.
This scientific group will be tasked with determining once and for all whether there is strong evidence that exposure to Roundup causes cancer. The findings of this scientific panel will be binding on ANYONE who has used Roundup in the United States and will determine whether or not future lawsuits against Roundup can be filed.
If the scientific panel finds that the ingredient in Roundup (glyphosate) is not carcinogenic, then all future Roundup lawsuits against Bayer will be banned. If, however, the scientific panel concludes that there is evidence linking Roundup to cancer, that will be the game for future Roundup lawsuits. Bayer would most likely have to set aside another significant sum of money to settle all future claims, which could go on for years.
Opposition to the scientific panel and plan for future claims
The proposal to allow the science panel’s findings to determine the fate of all future Roundup trials has met with strong opposition from both Judge MDL and a growing group of attorneys for the plaintiffs involved in the litigation. More than 160 lawyers for Roundup MDL plaintiffs have already expressed their objection to the plan to resolve future claims.
Last month the National trial lawyers joined a Amici curiae in short in opposition to the proposed resolution of future Roundup complaints. The opposition raised 3 critical points against the proposed resolution of future Roundup claims. The opposition focal point, however, was on the proposal to allow a scientific panel to determine the fate of future claims.
The opposition stressed that this arrangement would be completely unprecedented. He also argued that it would “violate a fundamental principle” of our civil justice system by allowing questions of fact to be decided by a “secret” panel rather than by a judge or jury. The opposition argued that the proposed settlement for future claims is simply a plan for Bayer to cap its risks at the expense of victims who have been harmed by its product.
What does this mean for the Roundup Settlement?
The continuing battle for the resolution of future Roundup claims will invariably delay the final approval of the settlement of outstanding Roundup cases. Until the dispute over future claims is resolved, pending cases will have to wait for compensation.
Contacting Miller & Zois about the Roundup lawsuits
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If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer from using Roundup, call our Roundup lawyers Today at 800-553-8082 or get free and without obligation online case review. Our Roundup cancer lawyers can give you the legal advice you need and we will help you in any way we can.