Thousands of California farm workers have been exposed to Monsanto glyphosate weed killer products . For decades there has been controversy over what the health effects might be. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer. Nonetheless, there has not been much activity in terms of continuous trauma claims from this group of workers.
However, recent civil litigation by some California workers exposed to these chemicals has been successful. Dewayne Johnson, who sued Monsanto in 2016 was the first success. He has a $289 million verdict in the first glyphosate trial in San Francisco, in which a jury found Monsanto liable for causing a school groundskeeper’s cancer.
Damages awarded to Johnson were later reduced to $78 million, and Bayer, which denies the allegations, said it would appeal the decision.
The company, which faces more than 8,700 U.S. lawsuits over glyphosate, says decades of scientific studies and real-world use have shown glyphosate to be safe for human use. It is likely that the workers’ compensation industry will end up with some of thee claims.
There is now another California case that has just been set for trial.
A California judge on Thursday granted an expedited trial in the case of a California couple suffering from cancer who sued Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit, alleging the company’s glyphosate-containing weed killer Roundup caused their disease.
The trial of California residents Alva and Alberta Pilliod is scheduled to begin on March 18, 2019. The couple are suffering from cancer and sued Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit, alleging the company’s glyphosate-containing weed killer Roundup caused their disease.
The Pilliods, who are in their 70s, allege their regular use of Roundup between 1975 and 2011 caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system.The couple filed their lawsuit in June 2017, after being diagnosed with the cancer in 2011 and 2015 respectively. Their lawyers earlier this year asked for an expedited trial, citing the couple’s risk of a relapse and their short life expectancy.
“While we have great sympathy for the plaintiffs, we are confident that our glyphosate-based herbicides were not the cause of their injuries and we will vigorously defend them at trial,” the company said in a statement.
Glyphosate jury trials will ramp up next year. The company is scheduled to face jurors in a Missouri state court in St. Louis, where the first trial was set to begin in early February. That date, however, was vacated by a judge, Bayer said, and the trial is likely to be postponed to later in 2019.
A trial in San Francisco federal court, where federal Roundup lawsuits are consolidated, is scheduled to begin at the end of February.