Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit
We are no longer accepting Monsanto Roundup lawsuit cases.
Monsanto Roundup (glyphosate) weed killer is designated as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO). Farmers, farmworkers, landscapers, gardeners, and others who use Roundup weed killer or other glyphosate-based herbicides are at risk for developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other forms of cancer.
Faced with the prospect of paying massive medical bills and losing wages due to a cancer diagnosis, consumers from across the United States who were exposed to Roundup are making the decision to file a Roundup cancer lawsuit against Monsanto (now Bayer).
Roundup Settlement Update - Monsanto (Bayer) Agrees to Pay $10.9 Billion
On June 24, 2020, Bayer AG publicly announced that the multinational company had reached Roundup settlement agreements in principle with five of the leading law firms in the Roundup cancer litigation. The agreements would resolve more than 100,000 Roundup lawsuits for roughly $11 billion.
The agreements were reached after more than a year of negotiations and three consecutive trial losses for Bayer. Wisner Baum (formerly Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman) served on the trial teams for all three of those trials and the firm’s senior managing partner R. Brent Wisner served as co-lead counsel in two of the three cases, delivering the opening and closing statements. The trials resulted in a combined $2.424 billion in jury verdicts for the plaintiffs. Mr. Wisner was also an integral part of the settlement negotiations with Bayer.
Wisner Baum and Co-Counsel Defeat Monsanto in First Three Roundup Trials
We and The Miller Firm are the only attorneys in America to successfully defeat Monsanto in multiple trials. Our firm served on the trial teams in Johnson v. Monsanto Co., Hardeman v. Monsanto Co., and Pilliod v. Monsanto Co., which resulted in over $2.4 billion in combined jury verdicts.
Pilliod v. Monsanto Co.
After years of spraying Roundup weed killer, Alva and Alberta Pilliod both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The California couple filed a Roundup lawsuit alleging design defect and failure to warn against Monsanto. The Miller Firm asked us to partner with them in conducting the trial for the Pilliods. Roundup lawyer R. Brent Wisner served as co-lead trial counsel, with Michael L. Baum and Pedram Esfandiary also serving on the trial team, among others.
On May 13, 2019, the jury awarded Alberta over $37 million in compensatory damages and awarded Alva over $18 million in compensatory damages. The jury also awarded the couple $2 billion in punitive damages. The jury trial was completed over roughly six weeks.
The trial court conditionally denied Monsanto’s motion for a new
trial, contingent on the Pilliods accepting reduced compensatory and punitive
damages worth $87 million in total. The Pilliods accepted the reduced damages.
Monsanto appealed the decision, but the Court of Appeals upheld the reduced verdict in 2021. The California Supreme Court later denied Monsanto’s request for further review of the Court of Appeals’ decision.
In 2022, Monsanto asked the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to review the verdict. On June 27, 2022, SCOTUS denied the petition for a writ of certiorari.
“After years of racking up loss after loss in this case, Monsanto can no longer avoid responsibility for the unspeakable harm they have caused Alva and Alberta Pilliod,” said Roundup lawyer R. Brent Wisner. “The high court’s decision is further proof that Monsanto’s only path in this litigation is through the trial courts, which is the way it should be. I am personally looking forward to trying a case against Monsanto this fall in California, my first since the Pilliod trial. Despite Monsanto’s recent victories, I am confident that our team can repeat the success we enjoyed in the first three Roundup trials.”
Hardeman v. Monsanto Co.
Edwin Hardeman filed a Roundup lawsuit alleging the weed killer caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma through his attorneys Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff. His lawsuit against Monsanto was the first federal Roundup cancer lawsuit to proceed to trial before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria. Attorneys Moore and Wagstaff asked our firm to help them conduct the trial for Mr. Hardeman. Roundup attorneys R. Brent Wisner, Michael L. Baum, and Pedram Esfandiary served on the trial team.
On March 27, 2019, a jury awarded Edwin Hardeman $5,267,634.10 in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages. The district court later reduced the jury's punitive damages award to $20 million.
On May 14, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of Mr. Hardeman. Months later, Monsanto submitted a petition for a writ of certiorari with SCOTUS. Several amicus briefs were subsequently filed, including one from the Justice Department saying Monsanto’s writ of certiorari should be denied.
On June 22, 2022, SCOTUS denied Monsanto’s petition for a writ of certiorari, allowing Mr. Hardeman’s final judgment of $25.2 million to remain intact.
“The decision is not surprising, but it is welcomed,” said Roundup lawyer R. Brent Wisner. “Monsanto will never get the ‘magic’ preemption bullet it hoped for. This litigation will continue to be fought in the trial courts, in front of juries, like it should be.”
Johnson v. Monsanto Co.
Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a school district grounds manager, was a heavy user of Roundup weed killer. Johnson filed a Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto after receiving a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis. His case was the first Roundup lawsuit to go before a jury in 2018. The Miller Firm represented Mr. Johnson and asked us to help them conduct the trial. R. Brent Wisner served as co-lead trial counsel for Mr. Johnson. Michael L. Baum and Pedram Esfandiary were also on the trial team.
On August 10, 2018, the jury found that Monsanto failed to adequately warn of its products’ potential dangers and that its products had a design defect. Mr. Johnson was awarded roughly $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.
The court denied Monsanto’s motion for a new trial on the condition that Johnson accept a reduced award of punitive damages. Johnson accepted the reduced verdict of $78.5 million.
Monsanto filed an appeal on April 23, 2019. On July 20, 2020, the California Courts of Appeal First Appellate District ruled in favor of Mr. Johnson but reduced the jury’s future noneconomic compensatory damages award to $4 million, which results in a total reduced award of $10,253,209.32 in compensatory damages. The judgment is further modified to reduce the award of punitive damages to $10,253,209.32.
"This is another major victory for Lee and his family,” said Roundup lawyer R. Brent Wisner following the Court of Appeals win. “Nearly every argument by Monsanto was rejected, including Monsanto's vaunted preemption defense, and the verdict was upheld. The reduction in damages is a function of a deep flaw in California tort law, not the merits of the case. Basically, California law does not allow a plaintiff to recover for a shortened life expectancy. This effectively rewards a defendant for killing a plaintiff, as opposed to just injuring him. It is madness. That Lee will not live an entire life with his wife and children should be compensable. Hopefully, we can change this irrational law."
Monsanto did not take the case to the Supreme Court. Mr. Johnson received his compensation in late 2020.