U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California, presiding over all Roundup lawsuits, issued a pretrial order on Wednesday, February 6, indicating that Monsanto must take the deposition of a man dying of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) within 28 days of the order. The federal judge also granted the man's request for an early trial considering his deteriorating health condition.
According to the lawsuit filed by plaintiff Emmanuel Richard Giglio in 2015, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a result of exposure to Roundup herbicide. In October 2018, his oncologist revealed that Giglio's cancer was spreading rapidly and he had less than six months to live. In November 2018, Giglio requested that his case must be given preference over other bellwether trials scheduled to begin that month, or remand it back to the Southern District of California, as he may not live enough to witness the outcome of the first bellwether trial. Judge Chhabria stated in the order that Giglio's claim would be included in the second group of bellwether trials, and the pretrial schedule for those claims would be finalized after the conclusion of the first bellwether.
Monsanto faces a steady flow of Roundup lawsuits alleging that the herbicide's glyphosate ingredient causes cancer to humans. A California couple, both suffering from NHL, were granted expedited trial which is set to begin in March 2019. Additional trials are scheduled against Monsanto in Missouri also, including a multi-plaintiff trial involving claims filed by 15 individuals, which will go before the jury in October this year. More than 600 Roundup lawsuits are pending in the federal court system where Judge Vince Chhabria overlooks the consolidated lawsuits in the multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2741; In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation).