Monsanto can’t dismiss a Roundup Cancer Lawsuit, a Delaware state court judge ruled last week. Lawyers for the chemical poisoning giant from Missouri had filed a summary judgment hoping to have a lawsuit dismissed.
The ruling came September 15, 2016, the same day Monsanto announced it was being bought by Bayer.
Glyphosate Probably Carcinogenic
In October 2015, three people filed a lawsuit in the Delaware court. The suit alleged their cancers were caused by repeated Roundup exposure at work or in their homes in Oregon, Washington, Michigan and New York. Their petition referenced a 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer evaluation report that Roundup’s main active ingredient, glyphosate, was “probably carcinogenic.”
All three plaintiffs in the lawsuit said they were unaware of Roundup’s potential toxic hazards before the March 2015 IARC report’s release. All three sued Monsanto in Delaware – where the company is chartered – for negligence and strict liability for design defects and failure to warn. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Monsanto can’t dismiss Roundup Cancer Lawsuit
Monsanto also objected to trying the case in Delaware, but Superior Court Judge Vivian L. Medinilla denied Monsanto’s objections. She also rejected Monsanto’s including a broad forum non conveniens claim, which disputed the court’s suitability for fairly managing varying state laws and multiple alleged injury sites.
Bayer-Monsanto Gay Marriage
Judge Medinilla’s opinion was announced the same day Monsanto said it had agreed to be acquired by Bayer AG. The $66 billion, $128-per-share deal works like a gay marriage for two of the world’s pesticide kings. Both poison the world’s food supply – Bayer with its own neonicotinoids and Monsanto with its carcinogenic glyphosate – as their handiwork continues to kill off the world’s indispensable pollinators, the honeybees, and rain down on the world, contaminating even organic California wine.
Judge Medinilla noted the burden was on Monsanto to prove it would suffer overwhelming hardship if its case were heard in Delaware court, which has a long record of hearing cases under laws of other states and nations.
Judge Medinilla acknowledged the complex nature of this case, but said Monsanto “overstates the burden of obtaining evidence necessary to prepare a defense” in Delaware. Judge Medinilla also acknowledged that cases less extreme and obvious may warrant dismissal based on forum non conveniens, but said, “[T]his simply is not one of them.”
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
The three people who filed the Delaware suit all said their non-Hodgkin lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia resulted from Roundup exposure through their employment as migrant workers. In addition to workaday exposure, they also lived in migrant worker housing while employed by a horticultural products company; so they sometimes received round-the-clock Roundup exposure.
All three suffered severe and permanent physical and emotional injuries, says their lawsuit, as a direct result of Monsanto Roundup’s inadequate labeling and warnings.
Monsanto argued in its dismissal motion that the claims clashed with federal herbicide labeling regulations. Monsanto lawyers argued the case should be dismissed due to varying state liability rules and possible statute of limitations issues. Monsanto also alleged in its dismissal motion that gyphosate “is not toxic to humans.”
Monsanto also argued that the IARC – which cited a carcinogenic risk in 2015 – has no regulatory authority. Monsanto tried to discredit the IARC by arguing that it has also branded as “probable” or “known” carcinogens some items in foods ranging from bacon, hot dogs and red meat to alcoholic beverages, salted fish, shift work, frying food and dry cleaning.
EPA Disappears Glyphosate Posting
Some Congressional representatives have recently criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for posting, then taking down, a report suggesting glyphosate does not cause cancer. That report was a snow job put forth by Monsanto minions in the EPA, for anyone who cares to look closely at it.
Environmentalists have also criticized the EPA for relying too heavily on industry reports – many sponsored by Monsanto and other Ag-business giants with vested interests in their outcomes – in its assessment, and for disputing the IARC finding.
The case is Joselin Barrera et al., v. Monsanto Co., case number N15C-10-118, in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County.