Roundup lawsuit: Legal Update 20223

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​

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Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

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Editor: Daniela Polo

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Roundup lawsuit: Legal Update 20223

Lawsuit Updates

February 2023

The Missouri Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling halting a six-plaintiff Roundup trial that had just begun in St. Louis.

January 2023

  • The focus of the Roundup litigation has shifted to state courts. However, a federal Roundup class action lawsuit remains. The MDL in the federal court still has 4,158 active cases as of yesterday.
  • Bayer has opted to avoid trial by negotiating last-minute settlements.
  • Bayer has continued to attempt to have Roundup lawsuits dismissed despite the Supreme Court refusing to hear its appeal to dismiss legal action surrounding the weed killer in June 2022.
  • The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will review its previous ruling that addresses the issue of whether or not federal pesticide law takes precedence over state failure-to-warn claims. Although this is a win for Bayer, it does not guarantee by any means that Roundup lawsuits will be dismissed any time soon.

December 2022

  • The roundup cancer trial was supposed to get underway in a California state court. However, this trial never happened. Bayer settled the lawsuit at the last minute.
Langford v. Monsanto Co., et al (CGC-21-592238)
The case was set for trial in San Francisco last month. However, only three days prior to the trial, the clerk removed it from the calendar with a note stating, “Case settled October 7, 2002.”

November 2022

  • Bayer offers a Roundup settlement in a few of these cases.

Moore v. Monsanto, et al.
Another trial in St. Louis involving claims that exposure to Roundup caused cancer has resulted in a disappointing defense verdict.The trial in the case, Moore v. Monsanto, et al., lasted nearly one month, and the jury found that the plaintiff had failed to prove his case.
Langford v. Monsanto Co.A Roundup trial started in a California state court this week. The plaintiff in this case regularly sprayed Roundup on his Northern California property for more than 30 years. This trial was expedited because Mr. Langford was in poor health.

October 2022

Stacey Moore
The trial is set for October 22, 2022, and will feature a single plaintiff, Stacey Moore. The last Roundup trial in St. Louis County, Missouri ended in a defense verdict.

September 2022

  • A federal judge in Texas denied a motion for a summary judgment filed by Bayer in a Roundup case. The same preemption argument was rejected by the 9th Circuit last year, and Bayer’s effort to appeal that rejection to the Supreme Court failed.
    Bayer has achieved defense victories in five state court Roundup trials in a row. This is in contrast to the earlier Bellwether cases.
  • To date, Monsanto has settled more than 100,000 Roundup lawsuits worth over $10 billion. Over 30,000 lawsuits are pending.

July 2022

  • The Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Bayer in the most recent Roundup Bellwether Trial. Bayer’s appeal argued that an EPA filing that declared Roundup safe to use superseded California’s failure-to-warn law.
  • The 11th Circuit ruled that claims that Bayer failed to adequately warn of the risk of cancer associated with Roundup are not subject to preemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
  • The glyphosate-based version of Roundup will be pulled out from retail shelves at the end of this year, but Bayer could still be facing another 10 years or more of Roundup cancer claims by former users who have yet to be diagnosed.
  • A panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the EPA report and ordered the agency to reexamine its findings. The Supreme Court decision means that Bayer/Monsanto is liable to pay the $25 million settlement decided in the Bellwether trial, and the defense cannot use preemption as an argument.

June 2022

  • The Roundup litigation is ongoing, and lawyers are continuing to accept cases across the country.
  • The US Supreme Court declined to hear a second Roundup verdict, that is, the $87 million verdict for Alberta and Alva Pilliod.
  • The Supreme Court rejected Bayer’s appeal.

Bayer won Johnson v. Monsanto
Bayer achieved its fourth consecutive victory in a Roundup trial, this time in Oregon.
Allan Shelton v. Monsanto
Kansas City native Allan Shelton was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma before he was 30 years old. He began using Roundup when he was 10 years old.

June 2022: After 7 h of deliberation, the jury found for Bayer in the Shelton case in Kansas City.May 2022: The MDL class action lawsuit is in a holding pattern. However, the next Roundup lawsuit to go to trial will be the case of Allan Shelton. This herbicide suit is currently underway in a state court in Missouri.

May 2022

  • Many cases have been consolidated into MDL 2741 in the US District Court: Northern District of California, which is still in progress.
  • The Biden Administration does not support Bayer’s appeal.
  • Monsanto appealed to the US Supreme Court to dismiss Roundup Lawsuits based on the argument that legal action for injuries caused by Roundup are preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
  • An Ex-Monsanto CEO has been ordered to testify in the trial of a suit filed in the Missouri State Court by a former Roundup user.

April 2022

  • 30,000 or so pending Roundup cancer lawsuits remain unresolved.
  • Bayer reached a settlement with several claims in a St. Louis court.
  • Over 4,000 cases are pending in the Roundup Multidistrict Litigation (MDL 2741).
  • The parties recently submitted a proposed settlement under which Bayer would establish a fund of $45 million to resolve these consumer claims.
  • In December, the Supreme Court declined to grant or deny Bayer’s certiorari.

March 2022:

  • Monsanto (creator of Roundup) has reached settlement agreements in nearly 100,000 Roundup lawsuits.
  • Monsanto has paid approximately $11 billion.
  • Bayer has accomplished this by negotiating block-settlement arrangements with plaintiffs’ lawyers who have large numbers of cases in the litigation.
  • Although those settlements account for nearly 80% of all pending Roundup claims, about 26,000 Roundup lawsuits are still active. Many thousands more have been filed in state courts.
  • In California as of March 7, 2022, 4,005 cases remain in the Roundup multidistrict-litigation (MDL) class action.
  • Some of those lawsuits remain because Bayer could not reach an agreed settlement amount with victims.
  • Bayer continues to await word from the United States Supreme Court on whether the justices will hear Bayer’s argument on its appeal from the verdict in the Hardeman case. Both the MDL judge and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit previously have rejected Bayer’s preemption argument.

Specific Cases

Hardeman v Monsanto (February 2019), $80.2 million:

Hardeman was awarded $25 million in damages after one of the first Roundup trials. Bayer subsequently appealed that verdict, arguing that the Roundup lawsuits should be precluded legally because federal regulators had approved of the product label on Roundup, which did not contain a cancer warning.

Three years later, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The jury found that the weed killer was defective and awarded $80 million.

December 18, 2021: On Monday, the U. S. Supreme Court asked the Biden administration to “file a brief in this case expressing the views of the United States” in Bayer/Monsanto’s appeal of a $25 million verdict in the Roundup lawsuits.


This was the first federal court case from the Roundup MDL to go to trial. Plaintiff, a 70-year-old male, and his wife lived in Sonoma County, California, on 56 acres that were used as a refuge for exotic animals. Plaintiff began to use Roundup products to treat poison oak, weeds, and overgrowth on his property in the 1980s and continued heavy spray activity through 2012.

Bayer argues that the Roundup claims should be preempted by federal law because the Environmental Protection Agency has found that cancer warnings are not required for glyphosate. Bayer already had presented that argument to the Ninth Circuit Court and lost. So far, however, Biden’s solicitor general has not filed anything, and no deadline has been set for when the court has to decide.

JOHN D. CARSON vs. MONSANTO COMPANY

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Southern District of Georgia

Date Filed: 07/12/2022

No. 21-10994

Plaintiff-Appellant: John D. Carson

Defendant-Appellee: Monsanto Company

Circuit Judges: Rosenbaum, Tjoflat

District Judge: Moody

John Carson regularly used Roundup® on his lawn for about 30 years, until 2016. In about 2016, Carson was diagnosed with malignant fibrous histiocytoma, which he believed was linked to the compound glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient in Roundup®.

Carson filed suit against Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup®, on December 5, 2017. Carson alleged that Monsanto had strict liability for a design defect (Count I); had strict liability for failure to warn (Count II); had committed negligence (Count III); and had committed breach of implied warranties (Count IV). All of them were under Georgia law, but the District Court dismissed Counts I and III.

The question under FIFRA is whether Georgia common-law failure to warn would be different from or in addition to action that the EPA has taken that has the force of law.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decided that the District Court had erred in concluding that Carson’s claim of failure to warn was preempted under FIFRA (because the EPA had classified glyphosate as not likely to be carcinogenic to humans) and approved the Roundup® label. Therefore, the Court of Appeals concluded to reverse the District Court’s ruling and remand for further proceedings.

Congress itself undermined the formality of EPA registration when it explained that the registration served only as prima facie evidence of compliance with the registration requirements of FIFRA. FIFRA requires that pesticide labels contain a warning or caution statement which may be necessary and if complied with to protect health and the environment.

On July 12, 2022, the Court of Appeals decided that the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) did not preclude the failure-to-warn claim, as alleged by the company. It concluded that the requirements of the FIFRA did not bar the failure-to-warn claim. Among other things, the judge argues that the Congress has left wide latitude for state regulation in the context of FIFRA and that the EPA’s “registration process is not formal enough to have the force of law.”

On November 4, 2022, Monsanto requested a review of a decision made by a panel of the court’s judges in John Carson’s case. This decision involved the question of whether federal pesticide law surpasses state failure-to-warn claims. The decision was made by the panel on October 28, 20221,2. The review will be made en banc, which means that all of the court’s judges will take part in it. For Carson’s case, this means that the 10 active judges who took part in the rehearing decision and the senior judge present on the panel that issued the decision on October 28 would be on the en banc review as well.