New Roundup™ Case in San Francisco Federal Court
A new Roundup™ case began on February 25, 2019, in a San Francisco federal court. It is the first case against Monsanto/Bayer to be heard at the federal level and involved a 70-year-old Santa Rosa man who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using the pesticide. The new Roundup™ case is seen as a test for bigger litigation in the future. There are upwards of 9,000 cases currently waiting to go to trial, and 760 of them are grouped in the San Francisco federal courts. The jurors will not be given all the evidence at the start as they were in the Dewayne Johnson trial in 2018. Judge Chhabria, who is hearing the case, said that the evidence may be a distraction in the initial phase. If this phase is decided in the plaintiff’s favor, the evidence will be heard in Phase 2.
What Are the Trial Phases?
The new Roundup™ case trial is broken up into two phases with medical causation being decided in Phase 1 and damages in Phase 2. Phase 1 will decide whether the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was caused by Roundup™. Phase 2 will allow the jury to determine what compensation the plaintiff will receive. After hearing testimony from the plaintiff and doctors and experts in the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the jury will decide whether the trial moves into Phase 2 of this Roundup lawsuit.
Plaintiff in the New Roundup™ Case
The Sonoma County resident, Edwin Hardeman, was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015 after he saw a lump on his neck on Christmas 2014. Within two months he was told he had the sometimes fatal blood cancer. He began spraying Roundup™ on his properties in 1986 to control weeds, particularly poison oak. For the first three of 28 years, he sprayed it around his home and property in Gualala. After that, he used it on his 56-acre property in Santa Rosa, where he said there was a significant poison oak problem.
Contact with Roundup™
Saying that it was a part of regular maintenance, Hardeman said he used a two-gallon sprayer to apply the pesticide. He confirmed he did this by spraying above his head, letting the herbicide reach the ground. The plaintiff in the new Roundup™ case said he engaged in this maintenance once every 30 days, doing it for three to four hours. There were times, he reported, when the winds would pick up while he was spraying Roundup weedkiller™, causing the chemical to be blown back on his body. He also said he breathed it in when this happened. In other instances, he said Roundup™ would fizz while mixing it in the sprayer, and he would get in on his hands. Hardeman said the last time he used Roundup™ was in 2012.
Hardeman’s Lawyer Scolded
Judge Chhabria scolded the plaintiff’s attorney, Aimee Wagstaff, for bringing up material he had banned from Phase 1 in the new Roundup™ case and eventually sanctioned her $500. Wagstaff, the judge said, disclosed Hardeman’s personal history, gave her opinion of the regulatory decisions as it affected Roundup™ and referenced Monsanto documents used by the company internally. This was in direct opposition to Chhabria’s decision to limit this information to Phase 2. The lawyer said she was acting in good faith and said that such rules were hurting her client’s case.
Monsanto Blames Hardeman’s Disease on Hepatitis C
The company argued that the plaintiff’s infection with hepatitis C was the cause of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hardeman was cured of hepatitis C in 2006.
The plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Dennis Weisenburger, a pathologist who has done in-depth research on Roundup™ cancer risk, testified that he believed the pesticide was the cause of Hardeman’s blood cancer. He said that surface skin contact with the pesticide allows it to enter deeper tissues, eventually entering the lymphatic system and blood.
Roundup™ Cancer Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Roundup™ cancer attorney. If you or your loved one has developed cancer after using Roundup™, you may be eligible to file a claim against Monsanto. Call me at (800) 404-5400 nationwide or (916) 921-6400 in Northern California for free and friendly advice. You can also reach me online if that is more convenient for you.
The Million Dollar Advocates is a forum of lawyers, of which I am a member, all over the country who have won in excess of $1 million for a client. I was inducted into the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. This honor is only afforded to those attorneys who offer clients the highest level of legal excellence.
Learn more about my practice at the following links:
Ed A. Smith: New Roundup™ Case in San Francisco Federal Court
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/gavel-auction-law-hammer-symbol-2492011/
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