On Sep. 19, lawyers for Monsanto sent a letter to a St. Louis County Circuit Court judge in an attempt to delay the nation’s fourth Roundup cancer trial. The court date is set for Oct. 15 and includes 14 plaintiffs that were diagnosed with cancer after using Roundup, Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weed killer.
In addition to seeking action that would delay the trial date, Monsanto lawyers hope to break up the group of plaintiffs into multiple smaller groups. As of now, all 14 plaintiffs have been grouped under the case Winston v. Monsanto. In the letter, Monsanto argues that that no trial should have more than two plaintiffs, saying that “a joint trial of the disparate claims of thirteen plaintiffs — claims arising under the law of three different states — would inevitably and impermissibly confuse the jury and deprive Monsanto of a fair trial.”
This is just one of Monsanto’s most recent attempts to prevent the trial from happening. Monsanto filed a motion this March to transfer 13 of the 14 plaintiffs in the Winston case from the St. Louis City Court, which is known to have favorable outcomes for plaintiffs in mass tort cases, to the Circuit Court for the County of St. Louis. Monsanto’s concerns are understandable, especially because the nation’s first three Roundup trials have all resulted in monumental wins for plaintiffs.
After the March motion was denied, Monsanto successfully sought intervention by the Missouri Supreme Court, which ruled that the 13 out-of-area cases could not be added to main plaintiff Walter Winston’s case. The court did, however, say that Winston’s case could “proceed as scheduled” in the St. Louis City Circuit Court. Since then, plaintiffs’ attorneys have worked to keep all 14 juries together and get back on track to go to trial on Oct. 15, seeking approval from the presiding judge to take a temporary assignment to the county. Monsanto’s Sep. 19 letter protested these efforts, saying that plaintiffs “have only themselves to blame for the position they are now in. At the time they filed their claims, venue in the City of St. Louis was not proper… The Missouri Supreme Court’s decision… flatly confirmed that conclusion.”
As the battle over “how, when and where the case should — or should not — be heard,” Monsanto remains the target of over 18,000 similar lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who developed cancer after exposure to Roundup. For now, only time will tell how this and other Roundup litigation unfolds.
If you or a loved one has developed cancer after being exposed to glyphosate, please call Pogust Millrood toll free at (888) 348-6787 or direct to our Pennsylvania office at (610) 941-4204 to see if you are entitled to seek damages.
A Pennsylvania native, Mike Daly has spent most of his life in the greater Philadelphia area. A proud graduate of Penn State and the Villanova School of Law, he's currently a partner at Pogust Millrood, where he represents individuals throughout the country in class action and mass tort claims involving consumer fraud, environmental harm, defective medical devices, and harmful pharmaceuticals.