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Roundup Lawsuits in New Jersey Seek Centralization

Roundup Lawsuits in New Jersey Seek Centralization

Roundup Lawsuits in New Jersey Seek Centralization

Introduction

A request has been filed by a group of plaintiffs urging the consolidation of all Roundup lawsuits related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma injuries in New Jersey state courts.

The request aims to establish a multicounty litigation (MCL) with coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings. Over the past eight years, more than 120,000 Roundup lawsuits have been filed in the U.S., alleging inadequate warnings about the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from the weed killer. The litigation gained momentum in 2015 when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate in Roundup as a probable cancer-causing agent. Despite Bayer and Monsanto resolving tens of thousands of cases, ongoing jury trials persist, especially in state courts like California and Missouri, with new lawsuits continually emerging.

In late January, 10 plaintiffs requested the Administrative Director of Courts in New Jersey to designate all Roundup cases in the state involving non-Hodgkins lymphoma as an MCL, proposing centralization for pretrial proceedings in Atlantic County. The consolidation aims to streamline discovery, prevent conflicting pretrial schedules, and enhance the convenience of all parties involved.

The Administrative Director of Courts called for comments, with the New Jersey Supreme Court considering them before deciding on the creation of a New Jersey Roundup MCL. If approved, the cases in New Jersey would function similarly to the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) but at the state level. The appointed judge would oversee discovery into common issues, potentially establishing a “bellwether” process for representative claims to assess how juries respond to certain evidence.

This request aligns with recent nationwide verdicts favoring Roundup plaintiffs, including the largest to date, a $2.2 billion award by a Pennsylvania state court jury. Other victories include a $1.5 billion verdict in November 2023 and various wins in 2023. While a California judge upheld a $332 million Roundup jury award, the judge reduced the amount to $28 million, deeming the punitive damages excessive. The majority of U.S. cases are concentrated in Missouri state court, where Monsanto’s U.S. headquarters are located.

Apart from state court litigation, hundreds of claims are centralized in the federal court system before a U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of California. Waves of claims are being prepared for remand to different federal district courts for trial. The evolving landscape of Roundup litigation underscores the persistent legal battles surrounding the herbicide and its alleged link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The outcome of the consolidation request in New Jersey will significantly impact the efficiency and direction of future proceedings for those seeking accountability for injuries attributed to Roundup.

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