A group of Roundup users is seeking preliminary approval from Delaware federal court for Monsanto's deal where the company has agreed to pay up to $45 million to resolve nationwide claims.
The lawsuits allege Monsanto concealed the potential cancer links associated with the weedkiller Roundup. The motion presented by the plaintiffs' attorneys before U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika states that the attorneys will get up to 25% in fees and consumers will get 20% of the average retail price of Roundup products they purchased.
The approval of the deal will help in resolving many class-action lawsuits against Monsanto including eight lawsuits filed by the plaintiffs during last year in August. The class-action lawsuits against the company even include a high-profile case that is pending appeal before the Eleventh Circuit. The consumers have accused the company of misleading advertisements, violation of consumer protection, and hiding the cancer linkage of the weedkiller. The consumers portrayed their rage by stating that they would not have bought the products if the company had put a warning label earlier on its product.
Monsanto, Bayer's subsidiary even faces personal injury litigation in federal and state courts across the country and the majority of them are centralized in Northern California and Missouri. Bayer has even tried to settle the over a hundred thousand personal injury litigations which include California's three multi-million dollar plaintiffs' jury verdicts, two of which are upheld by state and federal appellate courts, and the third is pending appeal.
Roundup, one of the most commonly and widely used weed killers, contains Glyphosate as one of its main ingredients. Glyphosate is a systemic and broad-spectrum herbicide that was patented by a U.S. company, Monsanto, in 1970. Bayer acquired Monsanto on June 7, 2018.
After the patent for Monsanto expired in the U.S. in 2000 and outside the U.S. in 1991, many other manufacturers started marketing their glyphosate products leading to a substantial increase in sales and global usage. The chemical name of glyphosate is N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine, and it blocks an enzyme in the plant, which helps in preparing amino acids and proteins, thus, killing the plants within a few days.
Initially, the users used Roundup as a non-selective herbicide just like paraquat and diquat. People attempted to use glyphosate-based herbicides to row crops, but crop damage problems restricted its use. In 1996 commercial introduction of a glyphosate-resistant soybean resulted in increased use of Roundup throughout the United States. Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" became the best-selling product of the company following the advertisement and the sales increased by around 20% per year between 1990 and 1996.
In 1996, the introduction of a glyphosate-resistant soybean resulted in the growing use of Roundup throughout the United States. Sales of Roundup increased around 20% per year between 1990 and 1996. The product was used in over 160 countries by 2015. It was mostly used on corn, soy, and cotton crops that are genetically designed to resist the chemical. But as of 2012, crops like almond, peach, cantaloupe, onion, cherry, sweet corn, and citrus have been treated by the glyphosate in approximately 5 million acres of California.
Monsanto denied any liability and stated that the settlement is fair and should be approved. The company even mentioned that the cancer warning label on its products is as per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's guidelines and glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria rejected a deal where Bayer was ready to pay $2 billion to resolve future personal injury claims.