Roundup Exposure Litigation

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The Roundup exposure and cancer litigation has garnered significant attention due to allegations that the popular herbicide Roundup, manufactured by Bayer and Monsanto, may be linked to the development of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) in individuals who used the product. This ongoing litigation involves numerous lawsuits filed by consumers who claim that their cancer diagnoses are a result of exposure to Roundup. The controversy surrounding Roundup has raised concerns about the safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide.

As of March 2024, Bayer and Monsanto have reached settlement agreements in nearly 100,000 Roundup exposure and cancer lawsuits for approximately $11 billion. More than 30,000 Roundup exposure lawsuits are still pending in courts throughout the U.S.

Sbaiti & Company has extensive experience in mass tort litigation. Our firm currently represents hundreds of clients who developed cancer after using Roundup.

Roundup: Glyphosate-Based Herbicide Formula

Glyphosate-based herbicides, like Roundup, are weed killers that contain glyphosate as the main ingredient. However, glyphosate alone isn’t potent enough to kill plants effectively; it’s mixed with other chemicals to enhance its herbicidal action. These chemicals help glyphosate penetrate plant surfaces and kill them at a cellular level.

The exact amounts of these additional ingredients aren’t disclosed to regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the public, as companies like Bayer and Monsanto consider this information confidential and proprietary. The EPA does not require corporations to provide safety studies that examine all ingredients and their impact on human health. This lack of transparency has hindered scientists’ ability to thoroughly assess the safety of Roundup over the past 50 years.

Monsanto continues to claim that its safety assessments have always confirmed glyphosate’s safety and denies any link to health issues like NHL among farmers or its contribution to NHL being 4% of all cancers in the U.S. However, many expert scientists challenge this claim.

Roundup Exposure Linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, a network of vessels connecting the immune system to every organ in the body. The lymphatic system plays a vital role in fighting off infections and diseases.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of lymphoma that occurs when certain white blood cells in the body undergo mutations that silently grow for decades, eventually becoming cancerous. While these cells normally aid in fighting infections, in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, they begin to grow uncontrollably and form tumors in the lymph nodes. These tumors can spread to any organ connected to the lymphatic system. If left untreated, regardless of how slowly they grow, all non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas have the potential to spread to other parts of the lymph system and eventually to other parts of the body, such as the liver, stomach, brain, or bone marrow.

There are over 60 subtypes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and the most common ones are:

  • Acute lymphoblastic lymphoma
  • Anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • Burkitt Lymphoma
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Hairy cell leukemia
  • Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Marginal zone lymphoma
  • Peripheral T-cell lymphoma
Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Severe or frequent infections
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Fever without an infection
  • Night sweats
History of Roundup Litigation

Roundup was developed by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1971, with glyphosate as the active ingredient. It was patented in 1974 and marketed as a broad-spectrum herbicide. Despite concerns raised by numerous scientific studies, the EPA initially classified glyphosate as non-carcinogenic. However, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Scientific studies, including those cited by IARC, have suggested a link between glyphosate exposure and cancer, particularly NHL. Leaked documents, known as the “Monsanto Papers,” have revealed internal communications indicating that Monsanto may have been aware of the potential dangers of glyphosate but failed to disclose them.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” based on limited evidence of cancer in humans and sufficient evidence of cancer in experimental animals. This classification prompted widespread concern and further research into the potential health effects of glyphosate exposure.
Glyphosate works by inhibiting a specific enzyme pathway found in plants but not in animals. However, many studies suggest that glyphosate may disrupt certain biological pathways in humans and animals, resulting in significant DNA damage leading to the development of Non-Hodkin’s Lymphoma.
Experimental animal studies have provided additional insights into the potential carcinogenicity of glyphosate. These studies have shown that exposure to glyphosate or glyphosate-based herbicides can induce tumor formation in animals, particularly in organs such as the liver and kidneys.
Regulatory agencies, including the EPA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), have conducted risk assessments of glyphosate based on available scientific evidence. These assessments have generally concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans when used according to label instructions. However, scientists and advocacy groups have criticized these conclusions because regulatory assessments often lack transparency and may be financially influenced by industry interests.
Key Dates and Timeline
  • 1970: Glyphosate is discovered by chemist John Franz at Monsanto and patented.
  • 1974: Monsanto introduces Roundup herbicide to the market, containing glyphosate as the active ingredient. Roundup is marketed as a broad-spectrum herbicide effective against a wide range of weeds.
  • 1980s-1990s: Glyphosate-based herbicides, particularly Roundup, gain widespread adoption by farmers due to their efficacy, convenience, and perceived safety compared to other herbicides.
  • 2001-2010: Concerns about the potential health effects of glyphosate exposure begin to surface, with various studies suggesting a possible link between glyphosate and adverse health outcomes, including cancer.
  • 2009: The Agricultural Health Study, a long-term study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), finds no significant association between glyphosate use and cancer risk.
  • 2015: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), classifies glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” based on limited evidence of cancer in humans and sufficient evidence of cancer in experimental animals.
  • March 2016: The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) adds glyphosate to its Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer.
  • June 2016: The first lawsuits against Monsanto are filed by individuals who claim that exposure to Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

A California jury awards $289 million in damages to a groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who developed terminal cancer after using Roundup regularly for years. The jury finds Monsanto liable for failing to warn about the cancer risks associated with glyphosate. The verdict is later reduced to $78 million on appeal.

  • September 2018: Bayer AG acquires Monsanto for $63 billion.
  • May 2019: Bayer faces a significant increase in the number of lawsuits related to Roundup and glyphosate, with thousands of cases pending in state and federal courts across the United States.
  • June 2020: Bayer announces settlement agreements totaling more than $10 billion to resolve a substantial portion of the Roundup litigation. The settlements include compensation for current and future claimants and funds for research into the safety of glyphosate.
  • October 2023: A San Diego jury rules in favor of a cancer patient, awarding them $332 million after determining that Monsanto and Bayer failed to warn them about Roundup’s cancer risks adequately.
  • November 2023: A Missouri jury awards $1.56 billion to four plaintiffs who linked their / their spouses’ non-Hodgkin lymphoma to Roundup.
  • January 2024: A Pennsylvania jury awards a plaintiff $2.25 billion over claims that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was a result of his extensive use of Roundup over two decades on his property.
  • March 2024: As of March 2024, Monsanto / Bayer has reached settlement agreements in approximately 100,000 Roundup exposure and cancer lawsuits for $11 billion.
  • Present: Litigation involving Roundup, Bayer, and glyphosate continues, with ongoing efforts by both plaintiffs and defendants to address legal, scientific, and regulatory aspects of the controversy surrounding the herbicide’s safety and its association with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Scientific research and regulatory scrutiny also continue to evaluate glyphosate-based herbicides’ safety and potential risks. More than 30,000 Roundup exposure lawsuits are still pending in courts throughout the U.S.
Why Sbaiti & Company

Sbaiti & Company, a boutique law firm headquartered in Dallas, focuses on significant mass tort litigation and appeals, including cases involving product liability claims like Suboxone. Our team comprises seasoned lawyers who have previously practiced at larger firms but now prefer the agility and personalized service that a boutique environment offers. While based in Dallas, our reach extends nationally and internationally, allowing us to serve clients effectively wherever they may be.

Clients choose Sbaiti & Company because of our track record of success and dedication to delivering tailored legal strategies. With experience representing plaintiffs across various legal areas, we offer a comprehensive understanding of complex litigation dynamics. Whether stepping in to resolve contentious matters, navigating trials, or handling post-trial appeals, our team is committed to achieving favorable outcomes for our clients. We prioritize clear communication, rapid responses to client concerns, and meticulous research and analysis, ensuring that our legal counsel is informed, strategic, and aligned with our clients’ objectives.

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Mazin A. Sbaiti

Founding Partner

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Kevin N. Colquitt

Managing Partner

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Asim M. Badaruzzaman


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