McKivinson v. Bayer
John McKivinson, 49, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2020 sued Roundup maker Monsanto and its corporate parent, Bayer, saying he developed the cancer after using the herbicide on his property for two decades. In his complaint, McKivinson charged Bayer with negligence for failing to sufficiently test their product for carcinogenic ingredients as well as failing to warn the public of possible dangers. Specifically, 'Had Defendants properly disclosed the risks associated with exposures to Roundup, Plaintiff could have avoided the risk of developing cancer from exposures to Roundup by choosing not to use Roundup…Instead, Defendants disseminated information that was inaccurate, false, and misleading and that failed to communicate accurately or adequately the comparative severity, duration, and extent of the risk of injuries associated with use of and/or exposure to Roundup.'
McKivison's attorneys said that, "The jury's unanimous verdict was a condemnation of 50 years of misconduct by Monsanto and a declaration that its misconduct was in reckless disregard of human safety and a substantial cause of John McKivison's cancer.”
Incredibly, Bayer is still in denial. Even after the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, said glyphosate is 'probably carcinogenic to humans’ in 2015. And in 2017, California determined that glyphosate is an ingredient that causes cancer under the state's Proposition 65, which requires Roundup to carry a warning label if sold in California. But the Environmental Protection Agency is like Bayer’s lifeline: In April 2019, it reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer. And in response to this latest verdict, Bayer said: ‘While we have great sympathy for the plaintiff in this case, we are confident that our products can be used safely and are not carcinogenic, consistent with the assessments of expert regulators worldwide.’
Surprisingly, in December 2023, Bayer won a trial in a lawsuit brought by a California man who said he developed cancer from Roundup, ending Bayer’s five-trial losing streak. Historically, California juries favored plaintiffs. To date, the company has won 10 of the last 16 Roundup trials. Approximately 165,000 claims have been made in the U.S. alone (An Australia jury just held closing arguments in the first class action against the company for personal injuries allegedly caused by Roundup, which Bayer acquired as part of its $63 billion purchase of U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto in 2018.)
The first Bayer Loss
The first verdict against Monsanto that reached trial was won by Dewayne Johnson, terminally ill with cancer in 2018, when a jury determined that Roundup played a large role in causing his non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was awarded a $289 million – at the time considered a huge amount. Johnson worked as a groundskeeper from 2012 through mid-2015, mixing and spraying hundreds of gallons of Roundup to keep grass and weeds under control and he would spray Roundup-- wearing protective gear-- between 30 and 40 times per year. The award was cut to $78 million, then reduced to $21 million after appeal.
READ MORE ROUNDUP CANCER LEGAL NEWS
Although the exact mechanisms leading to the development of various non-Hodgkin lymphomas are unclear, it appears that lymphocytes acquire the ability to proliferate rapidly and extensively. This growth causes uncontrolled cell division that can result in the formation of cancerous lymph nodes or tumors. NHL is not a single disease; it is an umbrella term for over 30 types, classified based on the type of lymphocyte, a white blood cell, that is involved. B cell lymphomas are more prevalent compared to T cell lymphomas. What is known is that NHL kills about one-third of sufferers within five years of a diagnosis. It is imperative to plaintiffs that they are compensated sooner than later.