On Oct. 6, Bayer Health announced that the upcoming St. Louis City Roundup trial has been delayed indefinitely, saying in a statement that “the Oct. 15, 2019 trial date for Winston v. Monsanto in St. Louis City has been postponed.” This comes as high-profile mediator Ken Feinberg reportedly works to reach a settlement for the more than 18,400 U.S. Roundup lawsuits filed against Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer last year.
At the center of the discussion is glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weed killing products. The influx of Roundup lawsuits in recent years was largely prompted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) 2015 classification of glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” for humans. More specifically, glyphosate has been linked to a group of blood cancers called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Three cases have since gone to trial in the United States, all resulting in huge awards for plaintiffs who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after regularly using Roundup.
This is just the most recent development in Bayer’s attempts to delay the nation’s fourth Roundup trial, which was set to include 14 plaintiffs diagnosed with cancer after exposure to Roundup. On Sep. 19, Bayer lawyers sent a letter to a St. Louis County Circuit Court judge hoping to delay the trial and break the group of 14 plaintiffs into multiple smaller groups. In the letter, Bayer lawyers argued that trials should not have more than two plaintiffs because “a joint trial of the disparate claims of thirteen plaintiffs – claims arising under the law of three different states — would inevitably and impermissibly confuse the jury and deprive Monsanto of a fair trial.”
Because there are no more Roundup claims set to go to trial in 2019, Bayer plans to shift its focus on efforts to appeal the verdicts of the completed Roundup cases: “with the change in the trial schedule and no trial dates set through the rest of the year, the appeals of the three completed trials will be a significant focus of the litigation in the months ahead.”
While the trial itself has not been rescheduled, a court document from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis set a status conference to reevaluate the case for Feb. 10, 2020.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after exposure to glyphosate, call the experienced attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law today at (619) 391-6001 to discuss your legal options.
A partner at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP in Boston, J. Tucker Merrigan represents individual clients throughout all of Massachusetts and the United States—concentrating his practice on cases that involve personal injury, defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, wrongful death, premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice, and insurance law. Known for strong client relationships and positive results, Merrigan has been named a Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorney by National Trial Lawyers from 2015-2018 and named Super Lawyer Rising Star for 2018.