Plaintiffs’ attorney Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman PC, said that a plaintiff is disadvantaged when they bear the burden of proof.
Monsanto wants to change the sequence of physician depositions in over 500 lawsuits pending before Judge Winifred Smith alleging that Bayer’s Roundup causes cancer – wanting the first chance to question the physicians at trial. Monsanto’s attorney said the defendants are at a disadvantage because they don’t have all the information on plaintiffs’ health, including their medical conditions and doctors’ names. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs’ attorneys know who the doctors are and they have access to the cancer patients’ medical records.
Judge Smith at first granted Monsanto’s request, but Wisner argued that there is “almost zero evidence” the plaintiffs’ counsel had interacted with treating physicians or that the cancer victims were tainting the testimony of their physicians, according to court documents. Wisner noted that the order of depositions had already been changed in one bellwether case “for the purpose of playing nice in the sandbox,” but it’s not fair to apply the ruling to all cases without a “level of good cause.”
Will Judge Smith level the sandbox? She has the final say to change the deposition sequence, and may do so after taking into consideration “overall fairness” and giving more thought to Wisner’s arguments.
This will be the fourth case that Judge Smith has presided over, including the trial that resulted in plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod awarded a whopping $2.06 billion, which was later reduced to $86.7 million. The cases are Roundup Product Cases, case number JCCP004953, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Alameda.
BAYER IN DENIAL?
Bayer issued a statement in January 2019 regarding an order by Judge Smith denying plaintiffs’ motion for consolidation.
READ MORE ROUNDUP CANCER LEGAL NEWS
Despite thousands of lawsuits and scientific research that say otherwise, Bayer still says Monsanto and other glyphosate-based herbicides are safe and do not cause cancer. As for European regulators, Germany says it will ban glyphosate from the end of 2023, after a phased effort to reduce its application by farmers. Luxembourg was one of nine EU countries to vote against relicensing glyphosate in late 2017.
Ironically, Bayer is a German company.