Companies that put out a brand name product will often do just about anything to defend their investment in said product. Even if there is evidence that a product has harmed people or could potentially endanger consumers, companies may attempt to protect their bottom line instead of the general public.
Especially in situations where a product has long-term health implications instead of immediate ones, companies may simply take the approach of denying everything until they cannot possibly continue to do so. That certainly seems to be the case with Roundup, a popular herbicide also known as glyphosphate.
Previous lawsuit sets a positive precedent for Roundup cases
Last year, a jury in California awarded a groundskeeper over 280 million dollars in damages because of a cancer that he alleged resulted from ongoing and heavy exposure to Roundup as part of his job. Although a judge later reduced the award to $70 million and Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup, appealed the decision, the success of that lawsuit brought a tidal wave of other filings.
Now a second man is getting his day in court in San Francisco. If his case is successful, it could have profound implications for many other pending and as of yet on file Roundup lawsuits. The trial began at the end of February and will likely last through the month of March.
Decades of Roundup use may have resulted in Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
In the case currently in San Francisco courts, a Sonoma Valley resident used Roundup beginning in the 1980s to control poison oak and other unwanted plant species on his 56-acre property. Then, in 2015, he received a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
International studies have linked Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to glyphosphate exposure. The judge in this case has referred to it as a bellwether case. If the plaintiff is successful in his attempt to secure compensation, it will likely bode well for many others facing a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that they believe relates to Roundup or glyphosate exposure.
Those sickened by unsafe products have legal rights
Companies have an obligation to the public to test their products. From ensuring the purity of chemicals to testing individual devices for accurate and safe performance, manufacturing standards are critical for consumer safety.
Sometimes, companies sidestep these important procedures by funding research that supports their right to release a product or otherwise taking questionable shortcuts. Although Monsanto continues to declare that glyphosphate is safe for human use, some studies have created substantial doubt about that claim.
Anyone who believes they may have developed an illness related to the use of Roundup or a similar product should discuss their belief with an attorney who understands this particularly complex area of product liability law.