A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Tuesday that plaintiffs have put forth reliable scientific evidence that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller can cause cancer. The Honorable Vince Chhabria, of the United States District Court of Northern California, issued an order today denying Monsanto’s requests to dismiss the case.
Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Monsanto with complaints that Roundup exposure caused their Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a blood borne cancer. All of those lawsuits which were filed in Federal Courts throughout the United States were consolidated before Judge Chhabria in In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2741). Under the Federal Rules, Judge Chhabria is charged with conducting all pre-trial proceedings in the combined litigation. Lead counsel for the plaintiffs in that litigation include Aimee Wagstaff, of Andrus Wagstaff, Denver, CO; Robin Greenwald of Weitz and Luxenberg of New York City, NY; and Mike Miller of the Miller Law Firm, of Alexandria, VA.
The proceedings before the Court involved the Court’s obligation under the Supreme Court Case of Daubert v. Merrill to act as a gatekeeper to ensure that expert testimony offered at trial is founded upon sound scientific methodology. In an extensive written ruling, Judge Chhabria declared that Plaintiff’s proffered scientific testimony founded upon sound scientific principles and certain testimony that Roundup can cause Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma would be allowed to go to the jury in future trials.
Additional lawsuits have been filed in State Court in Missouri, California, Montana, and Delaware. Those cases are following independent tracks to trial.
In December, the EPA released a draft human health risk assessment concluding that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. The Agency’s assessment found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label.