Will Supreme Court Let Bayer-Monsanto Off the Hook for Cancer-Causing Glyphosate Herbicide Roundup?
Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
In June of 2020 it was announced that Bayer-Monsanto had reached the “largest settlement in pharma history” by agreeing to pay $10 Billion to settle about 125,000 lawsuits by people who died or came down with cancer from glyphosate poisoning, the main ingredient in Roundup, the world’s most heavily used herbicide that is found in most food today. See:
Largest Settlement in Pharma History: Bayer-Monsanto Agrees to $10B Settlement With Victims Poisoned by Roundup Weedkiller
But there is one lawsuit that Bayer has contested, where plaintiff Edwin Hardeman was awarded $80 million in damages due to having non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a known side effect to too much exposure with glyphosate.
The trial court judge reduced his settlement award to $25 million, and Bayer appealed the decision, which was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
It is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, and U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar has recommended that the Supreme Court deny Bayer’s appeal.
The stakes are high, as the Supreme Court’s ruling could affect all future lawsuits against Bayer-Monsanto, and possibly even past lawsuits.
What will the Supreme Court do, and just what are the Wall Street Billionaires and Bankers who largely control the Supreme Court planning behind the scenes in all of this?
To rule in favor of Bayer could save investors $billions, and allow the EPA to continue to authorize the use of the world’s most deadly herbicide to continue to be sold and used to poison our food supply.
If they allow the decision of the Ninth Circuit to stand, how will that affect what the EPA does next regarding approving Roundup for agricultural use?
While many people and groups have been calling on a ban of glyphosate-based herbicides, the fact is that if it is banned outright immediately, a very significant percentage of agriculture will no longer be able to produce food, as certain crops, such as corn, are over 90% genetically modified and could not grow without the herbicide Roundup. It would take many years to transition to something else.
Whatever the reasons are behind the scenes for what the Supreme Court does, the stakes are high, and the results could be disastrous no matter which way the High Court rules.
The best case scenario would be to allow all these lawsuits from people killed or injured by glyphosate to receive their settlements, and to put pressure on the EPA to start phasing out the use of Roundup giving farmers enough time to make the transition, so as to not bring major disruptions to the already fragile food supplies.
But in that scenario the people would win, and Wall Street would lose, and that is just not something I see happening much, if at all, in today’s judicial system.
Another legal blow to Bayer
U.S. Solicitor General tells U.S. Supreme Court it should deny review of Roundup trial loss
by Carey Gillam
The U.S. Solicitor General on Tuesday dealt a blow to Monsanto owner Bayer AG, advising the U.S. Supreme Court that it should deny the company’s request for a review of a key Roundup cancer trial loss.
Bayer has seen the Supreme Court as its last and best hope for putting a stop to the flood of lawsuits filed by tens of thousands of people claiming exposure to Roundup weed killing products caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
The brief from Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar states that “There is no sound reason for the Court to grant review…”
Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, filed its petition to the high court in August, asking the court to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that affirmed the district court’s judgment in Monsanto’s 2019 trial loss to plaintiff Edwin Hardeman. The jury in the case agreed with Hardeman’s attorneys that exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide was a cause of Hardeman’s NHL and that Monsanto failed to warn of the risks despite decades of science showing links between the herbicide and cancer.
Hardeman was awarded approximately $80 million by the jury, but the award was cut by the trial court judge to roughly $25.2 million.
Bayer did pay Hardeman as it awaited word from the U.S. Supreme Court, but accompanied the funds with a letter warning him that he may have to repay the money if the company was successful in getting a reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bayer maintains Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicides do not cause cancer, and it additionally argues that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which governs the registration, distribution, sale, and use of pesticides in the United States, preempts “failure-to-warn” claims by Hardeman and other plaintiffs in the Roundup litigation. Because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved labels with no cancer warning, failure-to-warn claims should be barred, the company maintains.
In addition to the FIFRA issue, the company urged the Supreme Court to also address whether or not the Ninth Circuit’s standard for admitting expert testimony “is inconsistent” with precedent and federal evidence rules. Bayer argues that the admission of expert testimony in the Hardeman case “departed from federal standards, enabling plaintiff’s causation witnesses to provide unsupported testimony on the principal issue in the case, Roundup’s safety profile.”
The Solicitor General’s brief states that “FIFRA does not preempt respondent’s claims” and found that the evidentiary ruling by the court of appeals was proper.
The Solicitor General wrote that Bayer’s request on the federal rules issue was “particularly misconceived.”
In a statement, lawyers for Hardeman applauded the findings.
“The Solicitor General correctly determined that Mr. Hardeman’s claims are not preempted and told the Supreme Court it should leave the verdict alone,” Hardeman’s legal counsel Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore said in the statement.
“Despite paying billions of dollars to other Roundup plaintiffs, Monsanto has refused to resolve Mr. Hardeman’s case. Instead, Monsanto has spent the last three years putting the Hardeman family through an unbelievable amount of stress. We are beyond grateful that we are one step closer to giving the Hardemans the resolution they deserve.”
Bayer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Read the full article at UnSpun.
Comment on this article at HealthImpactNews.com.
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