Battle Heats Up As Roundup™ Trial Nears
The first federal Roundup™ trial is rapidly approaching. It is slated to begin on February 25 in San Francisco. The case, Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto, is the first out of 620 that are pending federal litigation. In pretrial motions, attorneys for Bayer and the plaintiff have laid out a list of issues, and evidence that they feel should be excluded. Also, a joint exhibit list was filed on February 6 that detailed all evidence that would be presented during the trial.
Evidence Monsanto/Bayer Wants to be Excluded in Roundup™ Trial
The evidence is not relative to whether or not Roundup™ causes cancer. Instead, it is relevant to the image Bayer/Monsanto wishes to portray during the Roundup™ trial. A partial list of evidence or issues the company wants to exclude includes:
- Monsanto public relations activities in the past
- The company’s link to products such as PCBs and Agent Orange
- Any similarities to the tobacco companies and activities
- Bayer’s activities during World War II. According to documents, Bayer was part of a corporate cartel, IG Farben, that included other chemical giants such as BASF, Hoechst and Agfa. This corporate group was part of the German effort. IG Farben built a plant at Monowitz concentration camp, which was part of the Auschwitz complex in 1942 and produced Zyklon B gas. The Germans provided workers at the camp to IG Farben for a significantly low cost for both skilled and unskilled laborers.
Items for Exclusion by the Plaintiffs
The plaintiff’s lawyers asked to have several items stricken from trial presentation, including evidence about regulatory decisions that were made by other countries. Also, Hardeman’s lawyers have requested that any evidence pertaining to the plaintiff’s medical history that is not relevant to the case should not be used during the trial.
Evidence That Will Be Used During the Roundup™ Trial
Both sides in the case provided a list of all evidence, issues, and exhibits that they anticipated being used during the Roundup™ trial. These include all of the following:
- Regulatory documents
- Public relations efforts by Monsanto
- Evidence of Monsanto’s profits that could cause financial prejudice
- Any remarks by the plaintiff’s attorneys that would seek to influence the jury to send a message to Monsanto concerning its conduct
- Prevent use of information such as the Copley letter and the book Whitewash
- Medical and scientific studies
- Internal documents from Monsanto, including emails
- Expert witness reports
- Evidence that Roundup™ appears in breast milk or food
Additional Lawyer Added to the Defense Team
Attorney James Shepherd has been added to the defense team. He previously defended the chemical giant in litigation against other products such as a Bayer manufactured intrauterine device and cholesterol medication.
The judge in the federal Roundup™ trial has already indicated that if the first phase, which covers whether the herbicide caused the plaintiff’s cancer is favorable to the plaintiff, the second phase would begin the following day. This phase would cover whether conduct by Monsanto was in error and if punitive damages should be lodged against the company.
A bellwether case is one that is considered a test trial out of a group of similar lawsuits. This is often used in mass litigation. It is helpful for both sides to measure settlement options and determine the possible damages. If a Bellwether case does not go well for the plaintiffs, the remaining cases might be restructured before presenting them in court. Hardeman started using Roundup™ in the 1980s to curtail weeds on his property. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015.
Additional state court lawsuits are due to be heard in 2019 also. These include one in St. Louis, Missouri, and another in California. It was in a California state court where school groundskeeper Dwayne Johnson was awarded $289 million, which was later decreased to $78 million.
Roundup Cancer Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Roundup™ cancer attorney. If a member of your family died or if you have been stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you need to fight back. Call me at (800) 404-5400 nationwide or (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento area for free and friendly advice. If it is more convenient for you, contact me online.
I’ve fought for numerous individuals hurt by another’s negligence in the past 37 years. You are already paying for negligence in terms of your physical condition. It would compound the pain you and your family feel if you had to pay financially as well. Care for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be expensive and require intensive treatment. This monetary burden should not be placed on your shoulders as well.
When you decide to choose an attorney, learn about them first. You can read how my clients feel about my practice and some of the settlements and verdicts in previous cases on the following pages:
I’ve been honored to be given membership in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. This organization includes only those attorneys that it believes have provided legal excellence to their clients. I am also a long-standing member of the Million Dollar Advocates. We are a forum of nationwide trial lawyers who have won more than $1 million for a client.
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