Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Attorneys in Georgia
What Roundup® users need to know about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Since the 1970s, farmers, nursery workers, professional landscapers, and home gardeners have been using Roundup® to kill weeds. The main ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate—a herbicide that kills weeds while allowing lawns and plants to grow. However, the glyphosate found in Roundup may also cause a form of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).
You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and have a history of heavy Roundup weed killer exposure. Call 888-991-8011 to schedule a free consultation with Chris Hudson Law Group to discuss the lawsuit and find out if you are eligible.
What Is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
NHL is a type of cancer that begins in the body’s white blood cells. Cancer can develop anywhere there is lymph tissue such as in the spleen, bone marrow, thymus, adenoids, tonsils, or digestive tract. Symptoms of NHL may include swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, chest pain, respiratory problems, unexplained fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and unexplained fever.
Most people see their doctor because they’ve found a lump, experience some of these symptoms, or don’t feel well in general. To diagnose NHL, the doctor may run a variety of tests, including:
- A biopsy of the lump
- Imaging tests such as a chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, bone scan, or a PET scan
- Tests for heart and lung function, including a MUGA scan or an echocardiogram
Although blood tests aren’t used to diagnose NHL, they are used to determine how advanced the lymphoma is. Additionally, these blood tests may be used to look for signs of infection or other problems.
After you’ve been diagnosed with NHL, your doctor will determine if the lymphoma has spread and how far. This is known as “staging.” Staging helps a doctor establish how much cancer is in your body and the proper ways to treat it. While the doctor will use all of the medical tests to help make this determination, typically, he or she will use the results of the imaging tests—the PET and CT scans—as the most critical indicators for the diagnosis.
Depending on the type of NHL you have, the stage of your cancer, and your overall health, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplants, or other treatments. These treatments may have significant side effects that significantly impact your ability to work and enjoy your life.
Overall, the American Cancer Society reports a 71% five-year survival rate for people with NHL. However, this survival rate varies significantly depending on the type of NHL the patient has and the stage of cancer.
How Roundup Causes Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
If you routinely use Roundup at work or home, you are regularly exposed to its main ingredient—glyphosate. You may breathe it in, get it in your eyes, or get it on your skin. Various studies have looked at how glyphosate affects human health and reported reasons to warn the public. According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC):
- Glyphosate exposure is probably carcinogenic to humans.
- There is a positive association between glyphosate exposure and NHL.
Studies have found that glyphosate “damages DNA in both human and animal cells”; however, it’s important to remember that people and animals don’t come in contact with glyphosate alone. Rather they are exposed to it in “formulations” with other chemicals. Thus, Roundup, which is a formulation containing glyphosate, has never been tested to determine its long-term safety. However, in an in vitro study, it was reported that “eight out of nine major pesticides tested in their complete formulations were up to 1000 more toxic to human cells than the isolated active ingredients.”
In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an intergovernmental agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations (UN), classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.” The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached different conclusions than the IARC.
In April 2019, the EPA stated it was taking the next step in its review of glyphosate, but reaffirmed that glyphosate was not a carcinogen and there were no risks to public health when glyphosate was used by its current label. Other studies that have connected Roundup to cancer include:
- A 2002 study published in Leukemia & Lymphoma reported increased risks in univariate analysis for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hairy cell leukemia in subjects exposed to herbicides, with significant associations found for glyphosate.
- A study published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine section of BMJ Journals in 2003 reported a 10 percent increased non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma incidence associated with living or working on a farm as an adult, and subjects who reported using any five or more “potentially carcinogenic” pesticides were twice as likely to be non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases than controls.
- The International Journal of Cancer found in a 2008 study that glyphosate more than doubled a person’s risk for developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and increased the risk of a subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma known as B-cell lymphoma by 87 percent.
- The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reported in a 2014 study that there was twice the risk of the development of B-cell lymphoma in people exposed to glyphosate at work.
- In 2016, a study sponsored by Monsanto published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health reported a 30 percent increase in the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma although it cautioned that “a causal relationship has not been established between glyphosate exposure and risk of any type of” lymphohematopoietic cancer (LHC).
According to Consumer Reports, the use of glyphosate increased tenfold in the past two decades. A study reported that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found glyphosate residues on about 90 percent of 300 soybean samples, while another study entitled “Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally” published in Environmental Sciences Europe in 2016 found that two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the United States between 1974 and 2014 was sprayed in just the past 10 years, and enough glyphosate was sprayed by farmers in 2014 to apply almost 1.0 kg/ha (0.8 pounds/acre) on every hectare of American-cultivated cropland.
Lawsuits Against the Makers of Roundup
Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup. Many of the lawsuits allege that:
- Roundup causes NHL
- Monsanto knew about the risk for years and failed to warn the public about it
If you have been diagnosed with NHL after using Roundup and are seeking damages, you may be able to join them in a mass tort action.
In August 2018, a San Francisco jury awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper dying of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who used Roundup on the job. According to Bloomberg, Johnson sought $412 million in damages but was awarded $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.
Bloomberg reported that Johnson mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of Roundup, and his exposure included accidents that left him “soaked from head to toe” in the herbicide. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and given six months to live by his oncologist in July 2017 after chemotherapy and other treatments.
Johnson’s attorneys and doctors stated in court filings that he remained too weak on occasion to speak or get out of bed. His treating physician testified in a January deposition that lesions covered more than 80 percent of Johnson’s body.
In March 2019, CBS News reported that a federal court civil jury in San Francisco awarded another California man $80 million for cancer caused by more than 25 years of Roundup use. CBS News stated that CBS San Francisco reported that U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria was overseeing hundreds of Roundup lawsuits and had deemed this case and two others “bellwether trials.”
In May 2019, CBS News reported that a jury in Oakland awarded $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million for pain and suffering to a couple diagnosed with cancer after using Roundup. The 76-year-old man and 74-year-old woman used Roundup for approximately 30 years for residential landscaping that they believed played a “substantial factor” in their development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with which the man was diagnosed in 2011. His wife received the same diagnosis four years later, although both are now in remission.
Johnson later accepted a $78 million settlement after the judge reduced his award. Many believed the $2 billion punitive damages award was also likely to be reduced because the Supreme Court of the United States had previously limited the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages to 9:1.
Under that formula, $55 million in compensatory damages would be the equivalent of $495 million in punitive damages. Bayer claimed that the next Roundup lawsuit originally scheduled to be heard in St. Louis, Missouri, was postponed to January 27, 2020.
Contact a Roundup Attorney Today
Now is the time to talk to an experienced mass tort lawyer about your potential claim. If you decide to pursue a mass tort case, you will remain in control of your possible settlement, and any damage award will be based on your unique situation. While your damage award will be based on your individual injuries, a mass tort case will allow you to work collaboratively with others who have suffered from exposure to Roundup.
To learn more about your rights to compensation if you developed NHL as a result of exposure to Roundup, you need to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 888-991-8011 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.