Will Supreme Court Let Bayer-Monsanto Off the Hook for Cancer-Causing Glyphosate Herbicide Roundup?

In June of 2020 it was announced that Bayer-Monsanto had reached the "largest settlement in pharma history" by agreeing to pay $10 Billion to settle about 125,000 lawsuits by people who died or came down with cancer from glyphosate poisoning, the main ingredient in Roundup, the world's most heavily used herbicide (weed killer) that is found in most food today. But there is one lawsuit that Bayer has contested, where plaintiff Edwin Hardeman was awarded $80 million in damages due to having non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a known side effect to too much exposure with glyphosate. The trial court judge reduced his settlement award to $25 million, and Bayer appealed the decision, which was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, and U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar has recommended that the Supreme Court deny Bayer's appeal. The stakes are high, as the Supreme Court's ruling could affect all future lawsuits against Bayer-Monsanto, and possibly even past lawsuits. What will the Supreme Court do, and just what are the Wall Street Billionaires and Bankers who largely control the Supreme Court planning behind the scenes in all of this? To rule in favor of Bayer could save investors $billions, and allow the EPA to continue to authorize the use of the world's most deadly herbicide to continue to be sold and used to poison our food supply. If they allow the decision of the Ninth Circuit to stand, how will that affect what the EPA does next regarding approving Roundup for agricultural use? While many people and groups have been calling on a ban of glyphosate-based herbicides, the fact is that if it is banned outright immediately, a very significant percentage of agriculture will no longer be able to produce food, as certain crops, such as corn, are over 90% genetically modified and could not grow without the herbicide Roundup. It would take many years to transition to something else. Whatever the reasons are behind the scenes for what the Supreme Court does, the stakes are high, and the results could be disastrous no matter which way the High Court rules. The best case scenario would be to allow all these lawsuits from people killed or injured by glyphosate to receive their settlements, and to put pressure on the EPA to start phasing out the use of Roundup giving farmers enough time to make the transition, so as to not bring major disruptions to the already fragile food supplies. But in that scenario the people would win, and Wall Street would lose, and that is just not something I see happening much, if at all, in today's judicial system.

Largest Settlement in Pharma History: Bayer-Monsanto Agrees to $10B Settlement With Victims Poisoned by Roundup Weedkiller

Bayer will dole out between $10.1 billion and $10.9 billion—the single largest settlement in pharma history—to put an end to thousands of lawsuits tied to its acquisition of Monsanto and glyphosate-based Roundup. The $10 billion settlement will be apportioned to four leading plaintiffs’ law firms, who will in turn distribute the money to nearly 100,000 clients who were stricken with cancer after prolonged use of the toxic weedkiller. The German company acquired the St. Louis-based agrochemical giant Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion, and inherited liability in thousands of lawsuits filed by people who claim exposure to Roundup and its main ingredient glyphosate was the cause of their cancer.

Roundup Cancer Attorney Pleads Guilty to Extortion Attempt

A Virginia lawyer who helped represent the first Roundup cancer plaintiff to take Monsanto to trial pleaded guilty on Friday to trying to extort $200 million from a chemical compound supplier to Monsanto. Timothy Litzenburg, 38, admitted to a scheme in which he and another lawyer threatened to inflict substantial “financial and reputational harm” on the supplier unless that company paid the two attorneys $200 million disguised as a “consulting agreement.” According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Litzenburg allegedly told the company that if they paid the money, he was willing to “take a dive” during a deposition, intentionally undermining the prospects for future plaintiffs to try to sue. Litzenburg claimed to be representing roughly 1,000 clients suing Monsanto over Roundup cancer causation allegations at the time of his arrest last year.

Shareholder Files Lawsuit Against Bayer over “Disastrous” Monsanto Acquisition

A California shareholder of Bayer AG on Friday filed a lawsuit against the companies’ top executives claiming they breached their duty of “prudence” and “loyalty” to the company and investors by buying Monsanto Co. in 2018, an acquisition the suit claims has “inflicted billions of dollars of damages” on the company. Plaintiff Rebecca R. Haussmann, trustee of the Konstantin S. Haussmann Trust, is the sole named plaintiff in the suit, which was filed in New York County Supreme Court.  The named defendants include Bayer CEO Werner Baumann, who orchestrated the $63 billion Monsanto purchase, and Bayer Chairman Werner Wenning, who announced last month he was stepping down from the company earlier than planned. The suit claims that Wenning’s decision came after Bayer improperly obtained a copy of the then-draft shareholder lawsuit “through corporate espionage.” The lawsuit also claims that Bayer’s recent announcement of an audit of its acquisition actions is “bogus” and “part of the ongoing cover-up and intended to create a legal barrier to this case to protect Defendants from their accountability…”

Cancer Killing Off Plaintiffs As Monsanto Roundup Glyphosate Trials Stall in the Courts

There are currently more than 42,000 people suing Monsanto in the United States, alleging that Monsanto’s herbicides cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The lawsuits additionally allege that the company was well aware of the dangers but did nothing to warn consumers, working instead to manipulate the scientific record. Many lawyers are involved in more than one of the cases, and all have overlapping expert witnesses, setting up organizational and resource challenges for both sides. Multiple trials that had been set for this fall were delayed until next year. In the meantime, both sides of the litigation are keeping an eye on the California Appellate Court, where lawyers for plaintiff Dewayne “Lee” Johnson and lawyers for Monsanto are awaiting a date for oral arguments in their cross appeals. Monsanto is seeking to overturn the unanimous jury decision handed down against the company in August 2018. The trial judge in that case lowered the jury award from $289 million to $78 million and Johnson is appealing for the reinstatement of the full $289 million. Johnson was the first to go to trial against Monsanto and his victory sent share prices in Bayer plummeting just two months after Bayer closed the purchase of Monsanto in June 2018. Johnson was  granted “trial preference” due to predictions by his doctors that he did not have long to live. Johnson has outlived those predictions, though his health continues to decline. As the litigation drags on, several plaintiffs have died or are nearing death, or have suffered such extreme health problems that their ability to undergo the rigors of depositions and trials has become limited. In some cases, family members are being substituted as plaintiffs for deceased loved ones. In legal parlance, the notices to the courts are titled “Suggestion of Death.”

Monsanto Loses Millions as Indian Cotton Farmers are Switching Back to Indigenous Seeds

Monsanto is making the news these days for losing. They have lost three court cases in which Roundup has been linked to cancer. In India, they are losing, too. After years of pushing a strain of Bt Cotton, Indian farmers have had enough and are switching back to native seeds for the cotton industry. It’s been a hard road for cotton farmers in India dealing with Monsanto. To begin with, Monsanto illegally began open field trials of its GMO Bt cotton in 1997 and announced it would begin selling seeds the following year. In turn, the Indian Supreme Court would not allow the biotech giant to sell seeds until 2002. Since then, over 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide. It is believed that many of these suicides were linked to major debts incurred by the systematic control of Monsanto and Bt cotton. Expensive seeds and the pesticides needed can only be bought from Monsanto. The agricultural ministry of India stated, “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers.” Monsanto’s Bt cotton seeds have been dubbed “Seeds of Suicide” by residents in India. And now, India is waking up and ready to fight back. The Indian government has begun to promote the use of native varieties of cotton, seeds more specific to each area. In the time that farmers have begun switching back to indigenous seeds, Monsanto has seen a loss of $75 million.

New Monsanto Papers Reveal that Congress Relied Upon ‘Ghostwriting’ Documents Used by Regulators for Years

The U.S. law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman added 100+ new documents to the Monsanto Papers on Thursday. The new Monsanto Papers documents are available for review via the Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman website. Prior to, during, and after the first three Monsanto Roundup trials, Baum Hedlund worked to declassify and publish internal Monsanto documents pursuant to the protective orders entered in the cases. The latest batch of Monsanto Papers documents were de-designated on March 1 and July 22. Among other things, the Monsanto Papers show: Monsanto purposefully ghostwrote articles that regulators have been relying on for years. Monsanto orchestrated attacks against the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and its members for concluding glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Monsanto hid its own consultant’s conclusions that Roundup causes DNA damage. Monsanto hid data showing Roundup penetrates skin at greater rates than reported to regulators. Monsanto influenced EPA officials to arrive at pro-Roundup conclusions.

Cancer Victims Suing Monsanto Over Glyphosate in Roundup Now Include Children

A 12-year-old boy suffering from cancer is among the newest plaintiffs taking on Monsanto and its German owner Bayer AG in growing litigation over the safety of Roundup herbicides and Monsanto’s handling of scientific concerns about the products. Lawyers for Jake Bellah were in court Monday in Lake County Superior Court in Lakeport, California arguing that Bellah’s young age and diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) qualified him for “trial preference,” or a speedy trial. Lawyers representing Bellah said the child was exposed to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide products repeatedly over many years as he played in his family’s yard and around their garden area where his father frequently sprayed the chemicals. Bellah developed B-cell lymphoma and has been hospitalized and treated with chemotherapy and is currently in remission, according to Pedram Esfandiary, one of the family’s attorneys.

Courts Making Bayer/Monsanto Pay Billions for Their Poison

We’ve been reporting for years on the negative health effects of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide. While world bodies like the World Health Organization say that glyphosate is a “probable carcinogen,” the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that glyphosate is safe. Let’s not forget, though, that cronyism mars the EPA decision: unsealed court documents showed that a top EPA official (Jess Rowland) promised Monsanto he would quash efforts by the Department of Health to conduct its own review of glyphosate. So much for the federal government protecting the interests of people rather than special interests. There are now 13,400 cases pending that allege Roundup causes cancer. We hope these legal developments accomplish what government regulators were unable (or unwilling) to do: get glyphosate off the market for good.

Bayer-Monsanto Ordered to Pay $2 Billion to Glyphosate Cancer Victims

After less than two full days of deliberations, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay just over $2 billion in punitive and compensatory damages to a married couple who both developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma they say was caused by their many years of using Roundup products. After listening to 17 days of trial testimony, jurors said Monsanto must pay $1 billion to Alberta Pilliod, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma brain cancer in 2015, and another $1 billion to her husband Alva Pilliod, who was diagnosed in 2011 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma that spread from his bones to his pelvis and spine. The couple, who are both in their 70s, started using Roundup in the 1970s and continued using the herbicide until only a few years ago. The jury also awarded the couple a total of $55 million in damages for past and future medical bills and other losses. In ordering punitive damages, the jury had to find that Monsanto “engaged in conduct with malice, oppression or fraud committed by one or more officers, directors or managing agents of Monsanto” who were acting on behalf of the company. Pilliod v. Monsanto is the third Roundup cancer case to go to trial. And it is the third to conclude that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides can cause cancer and that Monsanto has long known about – and covered up – the risks.