Hundreds of attorneys and several consumer and legal advocacy organizations on Friday joined dozens of putative class members in the Roundup product liability case in urging a California federal judge not to approve a proposed $2 billion deal to settle claims that the weedkiller causes cancer, saying the “anemic” settlement benefits Monsanto and its parent company Bayer AG more than sick plaintiffs.
The proposed $2 billion class settlement follows last June’s separate announcement that Bayer would pay $9.6 billion to resolve most of the approximately 125,000 claims in the sprawling multidistrict litigation that the chemical glyphosate in the weedkiller Roundup made by Monsanto causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.
On Friday, 93 law firms and 167 lawyers collectively asked the court for permission to file an amici curiae brief opposing the proposed deal. Similar briefs from legal advocacy organizations Public Justice and American Association for Justice and consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen Foundation were also filed on Friday. They followed nine filings from proposed class members on Wednesday and Thursday, asking the judge not to give the deal the green light because it doesn’t benefit the landscapers, groundskeepers and homeowners who now suffer from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The 167 attorneys said the deal must be killed because it stays all litigation for four years and prohibits class members from seeking punitive damages forever but allows Monsanto to keep selling Roundup. Monsanto and Bayer assert that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer, and they have not stopped selling it. Plaintiffs want a warning label on the product about a risk of cancer, but Monsanto states the EPA has found that exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, does not cause cancer in humans and no cancer warning is appropriate.