A jury in St. Louis, MO, delivered a verdict in favor of the defense on May 23, handing Roundup weedkiller manufacturer Monsanto and its corporate owner, Bayer AG, its seventh trial victory out of the last seven trials over the controversial weed and grass killer.
Similar to the more than 125,000 claims brought against Monsanto in recent years, Sharlean Gordon claimed that she developed a type of blood cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) because of long-term usage of Roundup and that she was not adequately warned about the cancer risks associated with the world’s top-selling herbicide, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate.
After losing three highly-publicized and costly Roundup consumer cancer trials in 2018 and 2019, Bayer AG settled approximately 75% of Roundup personal injury claims for $11 billion in 2020. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review two of those three verdicts, and Bayer previously indicated that it would not challenge the first Roundup verdict, which awarded plaintiff Dewayne “Lee” Johnson $21.5 million, an amount that was reduced twice from the original damage award of $287 million.
Tens of thousands of Roundup lawsuits remain unresolved, and new cases continue to be filed as former Roundup users are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma years after they first started using the product.
During the most recent Roundup trial in St. Louis County, home to Monsanto headquarters, which employs approximately 25,500 workers, Sharlean Gordon testified that she was exposed to Roundup beginning in the early 1990s when she personally applied the herbicide with spray bottles under the supervision of her stepfather. Diagnosed with NHL when she was 39, Gordon testified one week before the month-long trial concluded about her suffering from NHL, detailing her painful experiences with chemotherapy and experimental treatments, including two stem cell transplants.
Gordon claimed she would not have used Roundup had the product included warnings about its risk of cancer and sought to recover $36 million in damages. The jury concluded that Monsanto/Bayer cannot be held responsible for Gordon's injuries.
Additional Roundup lawsuits filed at the state court level are scheduled for trial later this year in California and Florida courts.