New Roundup™ Cancer Case Begins

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April 02, 2019
Edward Smith

New Roundup™ Cancer Case Begins

The latest Roundup cancer case is about to take center stage when it resumes on April 2. The case is scheduled at the Oakland Superior Court in Alameda County. The Pilliod v Monsanto trial is one of several cases that have been grouped together under the California Roundup™ Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings. Opening statements ended on March 28. Plaintiffs plan to resume with testimony from a toxicology expert. The trial concerns a couple, both of whom believe they developed cancer from the use of Roundup. The new Roundup cancer case will last until May. This latest case comes into court with strong prior victories in two others.

Pilliod vs. Monsanto

Both Alva Pilliod and his wife Alberta were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma four years apart. They believe that spraying Roundup around their properties for 35 years caused their cancer. Alva, who is 76, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011. After undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, his cancer went into remission. His wife Alberta, age 74, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after it was discovered she had a brain tumor in 2015. In 2016, Alberta was said to be free of cancer but relapsed in 2017. The first round of chemo left her with considerable brain damage. After more chemotherapy treatments, she is currently in remission. The brain tumor is now stabilized.

Statistical Probability of the Couple Getting Lymphoma

The probability that two people in the same household would get non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was mentioned during opening arguments in the new Roundup cancer case. After analyzing statistical data, the cancer risk comes to one chance in 20,000. Without a commonly shared precipitating culprit, the likelihood is small. That culprit, the plaintiff’s attorney said, was Roundup. The attorney argued that the couple trusted Monsanto’s word that their product was safe and used it according to directions. Thirty-five years later, they both are facing the prospect of living with a history of lymphoma and the side effects of chemotherapy.

Monsanto Fraudulent Behavior

The plaintiff’s attorney, Brent Wisner, alleged that Monsanto has been issuing decades of false statements about the safety of Roundup. One, called the IBT scandal, involved the company’s placing a pro-Monsanto employee in Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories. The laboratory was instrumental in proving that Roundup™ weed killer was safe. The experiments, done in the 1970s, were used to get regulatory approval for the herbicide. The studies used mice to prove Roundup™ was safe. They were also involved in discrediting the World Health Organization’s warning that Roundup caused cancer in 2015. Discussion of this scandal was not part of the previous two cases in both federal and state court due to restrictions.

Berkeley Toxicologist

A University of California Berkeley toxicologist, Luoping Zhang, is also expected to testify in this new Roundup cancer case. The professor has expertise in cancer research and genetics and is an expert on toxic chemicals. Dr. Zhang was on an EPA environmental review panel that dealt with Roundup. She resigned from that panel due to her outrage that the EPA did not use its own herbicide assessment guidelines when evaluating glyphosate. After performing her own study, Zhang released the results, which showed that Roundup does increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Lack of Warnings

Attorneys in the new Roundup cancer case cite the lack of warnings on the herbicide’s packaging. Besides that, they point out that the label offers no warning that residential users need to wear protective clothing when spraying it. Ads on TV and in magazines have shown consumers spraying the herbicide in sleeveless tees and shorts. This misled consumers to believe that no danger was involved.

Monsanto’s Secrets

Co-attorney Wisner stressed that Monsanto knew for many years that the herbicide was unsafe. Forty years ago, he said, the company was aware that it caused tumors in rats. Twenty years later, it was known it caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Despite this knowledge, the company refused to affix a cancer warning on the label. This, Wisner said, was to protect profits.

Plaintiffs Are Angry

The Pilliods are angry that they were never warned and want justice. They said they would not have used Roundup in the same way if they knew the truth. Instead, they believed the Monsanto’s statements that it was as safe as sugar water. The company’s warning would have given them the choice of whether they wanted to take the risk. Unfortunately, they were not given the choice. They now have to live with the consequences. Alberta said that both she and her husband would have worn protective gear and limited their use of Roundup. She was adamant that without exposure to Roundup, their cancer would not have happened. Despite being currently in remission, Alberta suffers from double vision, hearing loss and serious balance problems.

Hardeman Case Concludes with $80 Million Dollar Award

On March 27, the jury in the Edwin Hardeman case awarded the plaintiff $80 million with $75 million in punitive damages. The latter payout is meant to punish Monsanto for their egregious acts. The claims in the Hardeman case are similar to those being made by the Pilliods. The final award was over $200,000 in economic damages such as those lost on medical care and lost wages. Non-economic damages, which includes pain and suffering, were more than $3 million. Future economic losses were $2 million.

Dewayne Johnson Case

In another case against Monsanto, custodian Dewayne Johnson was awarded $289 million by a San Francisco jury. The verdict was based on Monsanto’s cover-up of the herbicide’s risk. After some legal wrangling, a judge lowered the verdict to $78 million. Despite this, Monsanto has appealed.

Roundup™ Cancer Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Roundup™  cancer attorney. We all like to think that manufacturers are being honest with us. The anger and disappointment we feel when we find out they aren’t is justified. When it involves developing cancer, we are outraged. It is important that sufferers are not just repaid for medical costs and lost wages but also for the pain and suffering this fraudulent behavior brings. If you or your loved one have been hurt by using Roundup, call me at (800) 404-5400 nationwide or (916) 921-6400 in California for free and friendly advice. You can reach me online too.

I’ve helped clients receive fair damages in a variety of cases from wrongful deaths to traumatic brain injuries among others.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates. We are lawyers who have won more than $1 million for a client. I was inducted into the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Attorneys receive this honor when this organization feels their practice is built on legal excellence.

If you want to know more about my practice, go to the following links:

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