A new product liability lawsuit filed earlier this month against Bayer and Monsanto claims that prolonged exposure to Roundup weed killer over the course of six years caused a laborer in Connecticut to develop cancer. The complaint was filed by Mauno Petajasoja in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and joins more than 40,000 legal claims currently pending against Bayer and its Monsanto subsidiary over claims that the company’s glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including approximately 2,500 similar Roundup lawsuits pending in the federal court system. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer and you believe Roundup exposure to be the cause, contact a knowledgeable Roundup cancer lawyer today to discuss your legal options.
Roundup is the most widely used weed killer in the United States, originally produced by Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer in 2018. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is a broad-spectrum herbicide and crop desiccant designed to kill weeds, particularly annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops. Since Roundup was first introduced in the 1970s, its application in agricultural, residential and commercial settings has skyrocketed. Today, approximately 250 million pounds of glyphosate are applied to farms, orchards, parks, lawns and backyard gardens each year, compared to only 11 million pounds in 1987.
The main concern stemming from the expanding use of Roundup weed killer in agricultural and residential applications is the product’s link to cancer. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) designated glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and that same year, many state and federal lawsuits were filed against Monsanto in the United States, by consumers who alleged that their exposure to Roundup caused them to develop cancer. In light of the potential carcinogenic properties of Roundup, several countries have banned the weed killer or announced a future ban on Roundup, including France and Germany, and other countries have placed significant restrictions on its use out of concern for human health.
In his Roundup lawsuit, Mauno Petajasoja claims that exposure to Roundup caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, which is the body’s disease-fighting network. According to Petajasoja, he used the weed killer on a weekly basis from about 2008 through 2014, in the course of his employment as a laborer at the North East Laborer’s Training Academy in Pomfret, Connecticut, and was diagnosed with the cancer in February 2018. Although he followed all safety precautions provided by the manufacturer in spraying Roundup for the general upkeep of his employer’s property during those six years, Petajasoja indicates that he was exposed to a risk of unreasonable and dangerous side effects, which could have been avoided had the manufacturer provided accurate warnings about the potential for Roundup exposure to cause cancer.
“Plaintiff maintains that Roundup and/or glyphosate is defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce and lacked proper warnings and directions as to the dangers associated with its use,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff’s injuries, like those striking thousands of similarly situated victims across the country, were foreseeable and avoidable.”
Petajasoja, like thousands of Roundup users across the country, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which Petajasoja alleges was “proximately and actually caused by exposure to Defendant’s Roundup products.” Petajasoja’s Roundup lawsuit joins the thousands of other Roundup lawsuits filed in the federal court system, which have been consolidated for coordinated pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) and will be overseen by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California. In total, Bayer and Monsanto face more than 40,000 lawsuits involving Roundup, all of which consist of similar allegations that the manufacturer of Roundup should be held liable for failing to warn about the potential for the popular herbicide to cause cancer.
Despite a growing number of Roundup cancer lawsuits and adverse event reports from consumers diagnosed with cancer allegedly caused by Roundup exposure, Bayer and its Monsanto subsidiary continue to maintain that the weed killer is safe for use as directed. Still, three consecutive trials involving a cancer diagnosis allegedly caused by exposure to Roundup have resulted in massive plaintiff verdicts, including punitive damages designed to punish the manufacturer for failing to disclose to consumers and federal regulators the link between Roundup and cancer. If you currently use or used in the past a weed killer that contains glyphosate on your farm, home lawn or garden, or during the course of your employment as an agricultural worker or groundskeeper, you could be at risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer from glyphosate exposure. Contact an experienced Roundup cancer attorney today to learn more about the ongoing Roundup litigation.