Kern County Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyer
Roundup, a popular herbicide used extensively in Kern County and the rest of California’s Central Valley, discovered to be a possible carcinogen in 2015, has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and other cancers. Monsanto, the manufacturer, and marketer of Roundup insisted for decades that the herbicide was harmless to humans, and it was applied extensively in Kern, Fresno, and Tulare counties, along with other agricultural areas in the southern Central Valley.
The diseases that Roundup causes can be fatal or require extensive medical treatments. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other cancer after significant exposure to Roundup, The Driscoll Firm, P.C. would like to offer you a free consultation to review your legal options. Call us today at 800-900-7704 or reach out to us online. If we take your case, we will not charge you a retainer or other legal fees. We will work on a contingency fee basis. You owe us nothing unless we win your case.
Besides making agricultural chemicals, Monsanto is one of the largest seed companies in the U.S. Monsanto’s Roundup business model was based on the development and marketing of genetically modified Roundup-resistant seeds for major cash crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans. In this way, the weed-killing herbicide could be applied to fields without harming those crops.
This increased yields, but it exposed many agricultural workers to Roundup. Estimates of four billion tons of Roundup were applied around the globe, making it one of the most popular agricultural chemicals in the world.
California’s Central Valley is celebrated for being one of the most productive agricultural areas in the country. Kern County, for example, grew an estimated $7.2 billion worth of crops in 2017. Kern County, along with seven other counties in southern Central Valley, also experienced more Roundup exposure than the rest of the Central Valley by a wide measure.
The population in Kern County is among the poorest in the state, with a median household income of $48,021 and a per capita income of $20,167, according to the 2010 census.
Kern County Roundup Exposure
Kern County has a population of 823,000. While heavily dependent on agriculture, several large military facilities are situated there, including Edwards Air Force Base and China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. Kern County also has the largest oil reserves in California and several extraction facilities. It has one of the fastest-growing populations in the U.S., accompanied by increasing issues with its water supply and air quality. The largest city is Bakersfield.
The largest crops grown in Kern County are:
These four make up 63 percent of the total value of crops grown in Kern County.
On average, 121 people are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Kern County every year. This trend has been stable, with a slight decline of .5 percent over the previous five years.
Roundup was broadly applied in Kern County for years. A study by the Center for Biological Diversity found that, in 2013, an estimated 900,000pounds of Roundup was applied in Kern County. Indeed, 54 percent of the Roundup use in the entire state of California was in eight counties in the southern Central Valley, including Kern County.
In short, Kern County has a low-income population with a high percentage of minorities, many of whom worked in agriculture. Growers seem to have concluded they could get away with applying vast amounts of the Roundup without consequences.
The picture changed considerably in 2018 when three separate California plaintiff’s verdicts awarded large amounts of damages to Roundup users who had suffered long term exposure to the pesticide and who had developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This included an elderly couple who had both been diagnosed with blood cancer.
The issue in all three trials primarily focused on whether Monsanto, which is now owned by Bayer, had refused to provide their customers with sufficient on packaging warnings about cancer risks rather than whether Roundup was the cause of their cancer.
The Medical Case: Can Roundup Cause Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
The significance of providing customers with sufficient warnings about Roundup exposure stems from Monsanto’s business model. By insisting that the herbicide was harmless to humans while also providing Roundup-resistant seeds, farmers, landscapers, and ordinary consumers did not wear sufficient protective clothing when applying the chemical, which significantly increased their health risk.
Roundup was invented in the early 1970s. Monsanto always insisted it was harmless to humans. The active ingredient, glyphosate, produced enzymes in weeds that interfered with the production of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and the weeds died. In 2015, the International Agency for Research sought to test manufacturers’ claims about Roundup and several other herbicides that their products were safe for humans or livestock. The agency found that glyphosate interfered with the amino acid synthesis in the microbiome in the human gut, which can lead to the growth of cancer cells in humans. The IAR concluded that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen.
This conclusion led to several lawsuits filed by seriously ill persons with significant, long-term exposure to glyphosate who had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The lawsuits were intended to hold Monsanto accountable and to award substantial damages to Roundup users who were adversely impacted by the herbicide.
In every lawsuit, the discovery process goes to the heart of the legal process. Both sides are required to exchange evidentiary documents that have a direct bearing on the case. For Monsanto, this meant producing minutes of marketing meetings, all emails related to Roundup, both from product development and marketing, transcripts of corporate meetings where Roundup liability was discussed, and all correspondence related to glyphosate.
What the plaintiff’s attorneys in all three lawsuits discovered were eye-opening. Documents revealed that Monsanto had known for years that exposure to glyphosate carried risks. It not only failed to warn customers, however but also actively fought against providing Roundup warning labels that cautioned against getting the herbicide on their skin or inhaling it.
Other findings included the following:
- Monsanto held several high-level meetings wherein the risks and liabilities of Roundup were openly discussed and strategies to cover up what the company knew and when they were developed.
- Monsanto went after several academic researchers who had studied glyphosate toxicity and attempted to blacklist and discredit these researchers to dismiss or minimize their conclusions.
- While the company was actively fighting regulators about providing warning labels on their packaging, an internal memo required Monsanto employees to wear protective gear whenever working with the product.
In the three California lawsuits, the courts found Monsanto liable because the company actively concealed what they knew about the risks of the product and declined to warn the public about those risks adequately. Now there are ample precedents for other plaintiffs to successfully sue the company and recover damages in other cases pending around the country.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Roundup Cancer Lawsuit?
If you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another related cancer after prolonged exposure to Roundup, you might be able to win money damages from Monsanto/Bayer, including:
- Medical expenses, current, and future
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Transportation expenses for travel to treatment
- Pain and suffering
If the court finds the company was negligent and reckless, without regard for the health of their customers, you may be eligible for punitive damages. Call The Driscoll Firm, P.C. to make an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your legal options with one of our experienced Roundup cancer lawsuit attorneys.
How We Can Help
The Driscoll Firm, P.C. has long maintained an active product liability practice, and we have helped thousands of clients over the years in handling complex litigation. We feel a responsibility to clients who were injured or damaged by a product that should not have been out on the market, or that the company should have taken the time and care to warn their customers about the risks associated with using the product.
Too many corporations take undue risks with their customers in the name of higher profits. They figure the consequences will be manageable and won’t cost too much if there are consequences at all, and they can still make money. Their lawyers do not hesitate to bully anyone who tries to hold them accountable.
The American civil litigation system was created to give the public a way to have their voice heard and to collect damages from even major corporations who heedlessly and recklessly introduce defective or dangerous products into the marketplace. The Driscoll Firm, P.C. wants to enable you to get you justice and financial recovery that you and your family deserve.