The Current Status of Roundup Glyphosate Cancer Lawsuits (September 2023 Update)
Roundup Lawsuit Update September 2023
Bayer has agreed to a $6.9 million settlement with the New York state Attorney General, resolving a lawsuit that accused the company of misleading consumers by promoting Roundup as environmentally safe. The case contended that Roundup's main ingredient, glyphosate, was not safe for either the environment or users, given its links to cancer. This settlement might encourage other states to pursue similar legal actions.
The popular weed killer Roundup has been the focus of thousands of lawsuits over the past few years.
Plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto Company (which was acquired by pharmaceutical giant Bayer in 2018), knew exposure to its product could lead to the development of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and failed to adequately warn consumers of this risk.
Although thousands of these cases have either been settled or have been resolved at trial, there is still an opportunity for injured victims to file a lawsuit against Bayer/Monsanto. Bayer has settled some claims while allowing other claims to be decided by a jury in court.
Dangers of Exposure to Glyphosate in Roundup Weed Killer
At the center of the thousands of lawsuits that have been filed against Bayer/Monsanto is the ingredient glyphosate. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), glyphosate is a common herbicide that has been in use since 1974. It targets a wide variety of noxious weeds found on farms as well as in residential and commercial areas.
While the EPA claims that glyphosate is safe for use and does not pose any health risk to adults or children, other agencies and organizations have reached the opposite conclusion. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) labeled glyphosate a probable human carcinogen after reviewing data from over 1,000 studies.
Similarly, the authors of a 2014 article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health looked at approximately three decades’ worth of data and found there to be a “striking increase” in the number of cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma over the preceding 30 years.
The article goes on to explore possible reasons for this increase, with one of the leading potential causes being occupational exposure to ingredients like glyphosate.
Finally, a 2022 study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism concluded that household use of and exposure to glyphosate over a period of 20 years led to a 36 percent increase in the risk of developing thyroid cancer.
It must be noted that thyroid cancer is different from NHL, and no lawsuits have been filed yet alleging a connection between Roundup and thyroid cancer.
These studies, along with other research, link long-term exposure to glyphosate with the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. While individuals who rarely use Roundup may never develop NHL, others who are exposed to glyphosate often over a period of years, such as farmers and agricultural workers, are at an elevated risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Essential Facts About Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a variety of cancer. It develops within the body’s lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is a critical component of your body’s immune system, which helps fight off infection and disease.
With NHL, your body produces too many white blood cells — called lymphocytes. These lymphocytes become cancerous, reproduce and grow abnormally, and then spread throughout the remainder of your body.
There are many different subcategories of NHL, with some varieties spreading very slowly and other types metastasizing aggressively. Treatment for NHL depends on the specific type of NHL and how aggressively it is spreading throughout the body.
Treatment may consist of chemotherapy, either alone or in combination with immunotherapy drugs or radiation therapy.
Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
It is not always clear if you have developed NHL because many of the primary symptoms are nonspecific and could indicate other, non-cancerous conditions. The list of primary symptoms of NHL includes the following:
- Swelling in the lymph nodes in your armpits, groin, or neck
- Pain and swelling in your abdomen
- Difficulty breathing, persistent coughing, or chest pain
- Constant fatigue
- Fever and “night sweats”
- Unexplained weight loss
If you regularly use Roundup weed killer, either in your home or through your job, and you develop any of these symptoms, monitor them closely. If they persist or do not fully resolve in a reasonable amount of time, see your doctor.
Causes and Risk Factors for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
It is not precisely understood why people develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Additional research is needed to more fully explain how lymphocytes become cancerous and multiply. However, there are several well-known factors that increase your risk of developing NHL:
- The risk of developing NHL is greater in men over 60 years of age
- Caucasians are more likely to develop NHL than people of other races
- Having a close family member with NHL increases your risk of also developing NHL
- Individuals with a weakened immune system or certain autoimmune disorders have an elevated risk of developing NHL
- Those who are overweight or obese may have an increased risk of getting NHL
In addition to these risk factors, exposure to glyphosate, a primary ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, has also been shown to lead to the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This risk increases the longer you are exposed to Roundup, although your NHL may not develop until years or decades after your initial exposure.
The World Health Organization has identified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
Prognosis for Patients Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
When it comes to any form of cancer, survival rates are described in terms of the percentage of people diagnosed with a certain form of cancer who are still living five years after their diagnosis is first made.
According to the American Cancer Society, the general survival rate for NHL is 73 percent. This means that out of 100 patients diagnosed with NHL, 73 of them will still be alive at least five years after the date they are first diagnosed.
Hairy Cell Leukemia
A less common form of cancer that has been linked to glyphosate exposure is hairy cell leukemia.
Like NHL, hairy cell leukemia develops in the white blood cells of the lymphatic system. However, hairy cell leukemia involves mutated B cells that reproduce and spread throughout the body. This form of leukemia gets its name because the cancerous B cells appear to have tiny hairs on them when viewed under a microscope.
There are numerous similarities between NHL and hairy cell leukemia. Both conditions affect white blood cells and can spread to other parts of the body. The signs and symptoms of hairy cell leukemia are similar to those of NHL. And just as for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the primary course of treatment for hairy cell leukemia is chemotherapy.
Generally, hairy cell leukemia is not aggressive and does not spread quickly. Depending on the stage at which it is discovered, you may not need to begin treatment right away.
What to Know About Roundup Lawsuits
Thousands of lawsuits have recently been filed against Monsanto Company, the original manufacturer of Roundup. When Bayer AG acquired Monsanto and its product line in 2018, Bayer inherited the legal actions facing Monsanto as well.
For this reason, although Roundup lawsuits frequently mention Monsanto, it is Bayer AG that is either defending against these cases or settling them.
Although the stories of the thousands of people who have filed lawsuits against Bayer/Monsanto are different, the lawsuits all make similar allegations.
The plaintiffs in these lawsuits used or were exposed to Roundup weed killer for years, either because they used the product at home or were exposed to it at their workplaces. Later, they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and incurred considerable tangible and intangible losses and expenses.
Because Bayer/Monsanto continued to market and sell Roundup to consumers and businesses alike without properly warning them of the risk of NHL, these lawsuits seek financial compensation from Bayer/Monsanto.
Some of these lawsuits have been consolidated into class action lawsuits while other plaintiffs have proceeded with individual lawsuits against Bayer/Monsanto. Similarly, Bayer/Monsanto has taken varying approaches to dealing with these lawsuits.
Some have settled for considerable amounts, while Bayer/Monsanto has litigated other lawsuits in court and won.
Examples of Roundup Lawsuit Results
One of the earliest Roundup cases to go to trial involved a 46-year-old groundskeeper who developed NHL after years of being exposed to Roundup and its glyphosates.
While the jury in this 2018 case did not find that Roundup directly caused the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the jury did fault Bayer/Monsanto for failing to warn the plaintiff through warning labels or other means about the increased risk of developing NHL following exposure and use of Roundup. The plaintiff received over $20 million.
Two cases in 2019 also resulted in victories for plaintiffs. In one, a couple was awarded nearly $87 million in compensation following a successful jury trial. Both plaintiffs used Roundup for over 30 years before being diagnosed with NHL. In the second case, the plaintiff was awarded $20 million after using Roundup for over two decades.
Other Roundup lawsuits have not fared so well. In 2021, Bayer/Monsanto won two jury trials. In the first, the jury found that exposure to Roundup around the home did not cause a child to develop Burkitt’s lymphoma.
In the other case, the jury similarly decided that despite being exposed to Roundup over several decades, the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis was not related to this exposure.
Roundup Lawsuit Settlement Proposal
In 2020, Bayer proposed setting aside nearly $11 billion to settle pending lawsuits against the company by plaintiffs alleging that Roundup led to the development of their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The proposal also included setting aside another $1.25 billion to compensate future plaintiffs who have not yet filed lawsuits against the company.
Filing a Roundup Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit
Even though thousands of Roundup lawsuits have been filed and many of them have settled, plaintiffs who have been recently diagnosed with NHL and have used Roundup continue to file new lawsuits. You may have a claim for compensation and be eligible to file a Roundup lawsuit if you:
- Used or were exposed to Roundup for many years, either around your home or at work
- Have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Required treatment or suffered any sort of financial or other loss as a result of your NHL diagnosis
If you are still unsure about whether you have a claim, please complete the form on the side of this page and have your case evaluated for free.
How Long Will Your Roundup Lawsuit Take to Resolve?
The amount of time it will take for your Roundup lawsuit to settle will depend on the strength of the evidence in support of your claim and whether you and Bayer agree to settle your case or if one of you litigates your claim.
While litigation will generally result in a higher compensation award, it does present the risk of having a jury rule adversely on your claim.
You can assist your attorney in resolving your case by gathering documents and information about your Roundup use and exposure as well as your medical records.
Also, having a discussion with your attorney early on about whether you would like to pursue a settlement or try your case to a jury can help your attorney move your case along more expeditiously.
Hiring the Right Attorney for Your Roundup Lawsuit
If you do have a viable claim for compensation, you should consider retaining an experienced law firm to help you file and prosecute your claim.
Like many product liability and dangerous product cases, the evidence in a Roundup lawsuit claim is highly technical and scientific, and Bayer has chosen to challenge some claims in court through litigation.
Firms like Kline & Specter and Miller & Zois represent Roundup injury plaintiffs throughout the United States. The firm you choose to represent you should similarly be licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Look for a firm that has considerable experience in handling large, complicated product liability claims.
The Future of Roundup Litigation
As long as Roundup continues to be sold and consumers continue to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after prolonged use, expect to continue to see Roundup lawsuits being filed against Bayer. Lawsuits may also increase if scientific evidence links glyphosate to other forms of cancer like thyroid cancer.
Whether Bayer will continue to litigate some cases or whether it will pursue settlements with all plaintiffs remains to be seen.