It has been known for several years that Roundup is hazardous to human health and that the product is likely linked to cases of cancer. More recent studies, however, have revealed that Roundup is more dangerous than previously thought: it may increase the risk of some cancers by as much as 41 percent. Victims who have suffered from cancer after exposure to the weedkiller are now pursuing personal injury lawsuits against Monsanto, the producer of Roundup. This is why it is so important to get a lawyer in Kentucky who can deal with these cases.
Roundup Is a “Probable Human Carcinogen”
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared Roundup a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. This is due to the glyphosate, which studies have connected to several types of cancers. Glyphosate has been found to damage DNA in both humans and other animals. Specifically, there’s a link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
What Is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma starts in the lymphatic system and affects the lymph nodes, which are found in places including the neck, armpits, abdomen, groin, and chest. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and is responsible for removing bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens from the body. Since the lymphatic system is connected to many parts of the body, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can spread to other places, like the liver, spleen, and bones. Early signs of the cancer include swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.
Who May Have Been Affected by Roundup?
For many years, Roundup has been the most popular weed killer on the market. This is because it is possible to reengineer soybeans and corn to be resistant to Roundup — something that is not an option with some other weedkillers. The resistance Roundup prevents damage to crops while effectively killing weeds to improve crop yields. However, this popularity also means that use of Roundup has been widespread.
You could have been exposed to Roundup by skin contact (such as if you used the product in your own garden), by breathing contaminated air, or even by ingestion of the product. Anyone who has been exposed to Roundup is at risk. This includes farmers, agricultural workers, landscapers, groundskeepers, gardeners (professionals and homeowners), and anyone else who applies the herbicide or works somewhere that uses Roundup. You could even be at risk if you live close to agricultural land or did in the past. Since Roundup has been on the market since 1974, some agricultural workers and home gardeners could have been using the product for decades.
Unfortunately, Roundup remains available for use — the findings from the IARC are considered to be warnings for consumers and farmers rather than a prohibition of the product. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has even increased the level of herbicides farmers are allowed to spray on their crops.
In addition, Monsanto continues to dispute claims that Roundup causes cancer and says that there is no basis to the IARC cautions. The company even goes one step further, insisting that Roundup is completely safe. Ecologist Patrick Moore (who was originally reported as being a lobbyist for Monsanto, but the company says he is not) famously declared that the weedkiller is safe enough to drink — although he declined to prove this claim by drinking it himself.
Do I need an attorney if I have been exposed to Roundup?
There are now more than 5,000 lawsuits targeting Monsanto, with a total of at least 40,000 plaintiffs claiming that either they or a family member suffered from cancer due to Roundup exposure. More people discovered that they may have a case after a federal court overseeing the litigation unsealed a number of documents in March 2017. These documents suggest a collusion between Monsanto and a senior director at the EPA to deny the link between glyphosate and cancer. They also provide some evidence that Monsanto ghostwrote studies the EPA used when evaluating the potential of glyphosate as a carcinogen.
However, there was a strong case for litigation even before these documents came to light, due to the negligent behavior of Monsanto. Companies are required to conduct tests to ensure the safety of their products, which includes meeting required safety research standards. They must also provide the public with access to their findings. However, Monsanto has been accused of using fraudulent data to demonstrate that there is no risk to using Roundup.
You need a lawyer in Kentucky to help you if you have been exposed to Roundup.
Multidistrict Litigation in Kentucky
It’s important to note that the Roundup lawsuits in Kentucky will be multidistrict litigation (MDL) rather than class action lawsuits. There are some significant differences between the two.
MDL ensures that victims who were harmed by a large corporation receive justice and that others are protected from the product in the future. It means that several cases move forward at the same time to share in discovery but they are still treated as distinct cases. If you choose to pursue a case, you’ll receive compensation based on your damages. In contrast, class action lawsuits tend to provide plaintiffs with only a small amount of compensation that is often insufficient to cover expenses like medical bills. Estimates put damages for plaintiffs at anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000, depending on their particular damages.
Do You Have a Case?
If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer and you know or believe that you were exposed to Roundup, you could receive compensation. The only way to determine if you have a case is to ask a personal injury attorney. Since Monsanto is now owned by the pharmaceutical giant Bayer, it is extra important to receive representation from a personal injury lawyer who has experience in these kinds of cases.
The Fleck Firm is actively taking on clients to assist with exposure to Roundup. Contact us today.