Roundup cancer lawsuits against Monsanto and Bayer can go to trial, California judge rules

by Charles Miller

A California federal judge has ruled that hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto alleging that the company’s weed killer Roundup causes cancer can proceed to trial. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco ruled that there was enough evidence linking Roundup with an increased cancer risk to allow hundreds of lawsuits filed by cancer survivors or families of those who died of cancer after being exposed to glyphosate weed killers to move forward.

Roundup was first placed on the market by Monsanto in 1974. Roundup and other weed killers that contain glyphosate are among the most widely used herbicides in the world, with about 250 million pounds sprayed each year. As a result of the widespread use of glyphosate herbicides, Monsanto also developed a special line of “Roundup Ready” seeds that have been genetically modified to resist the effects of glyphosate. In the U.S., about 70% of corn and cotton seeds and 90% of soybean seeds are “Roundup Ready” products produced by Monsanto or other companies.

Bayer AG – the parent company of Monsanto – is facing more than 400 lawsuits filed on behalf of farmers, landscapers, and consumers who were diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to Roundup or other weed killer containing the chemical glyphosate. These lawsuits allege that exposure to Roundup caused individuals who worked with the weed killer to develop non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cell cancer.

During pre-trial hearings, Judge Chhabria excluded the opinions of two experts for the plaintiffs, who planned to testify that exposure to Roundup and other weed killers containing glyphosate could increase the risk of developing cancer. But the judge also ruled that the testimony of four other experts would be allowed, and concluded that a reasonable jury might conclude that glyphosate causes cancer based on their testimony.

In addition to the 400 lawsuits consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Monsanto and Bayer are also facing about 5,000 lawsuits, mostly in state courts, over the link between Roundup and cancer. Although Judge Chhabria’s ruling is not binding on these cases, state court judges have been following developments in the federal Roundup litigation for guidance on how to proceed in the thousands of additional lawsuits filed against Bayer and Monsanto.

Roundup Users Diagnosed With Cancer May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer after using Roundup or other weed killers containing glyphosate, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney who can advise you regarding your rights and guide you through the first steps of filing a claim.

For more information about the Roundup lawsuits filed against Monsanto and to learn more about whether you may qualify, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.