A number of individuals who have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, the maker of the pesticide. The product liability lawsuit alleges that Monsanto failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with using Roundup. What else should Oceanside residents know about the risks of Roundup and the possibility of a product defect claim?
Disagreement Over the Effects of Glyphosate
Can glyphosate cause cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma? The article in The New York Times emphasizes that “the safety of glyphosate is not settled science.” While the IARC has indicated that the likelihood of glyphosate being carcinogenic is high, other agencies have disagreed. For example, the European Food Safety Agency, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have not come to the same conclusion about glyphosate exposure and cancer risk.
In 2015 alone, about 220 million pounds of glyphosate were used in the United States. In large part, the weed killer has been used in farming, and individuals in the agriculture industry are the ones alleging that glyphosate causes cancer. A recent report from CNN News indicates that more than 800 patients are suing Monsanto based largely on evidence contained in the IARC report. The plaintiffs allege that their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma resulted from the glyphosate in Roundup, combined with the “animals fats and other ingredients” in the weed killer “that increase the carcinogenicity of the glyphosate.”
Did Monsanto Know that Roundup Could Increase a Consumer’s Risk of Cancer?
The CNN News report discusses internal correspondence among individuals at Monsanto in relation to research on glyphosate. If the company that makes Roundup knew that the weed killer posed a cancer risk, it had a duty to warn consumers about that risk before they used it.
In general, there are three different types of product liability claims:
- Design defects, or product defects that exist in the design of the product before it is ever manufactured and before it ever reaches consumers;
- Manufacturing defects, or product defects that happen when the product is being manufactured and before it reaches consumers; and
- Marketing defects or the failure to warn, which is a different type of defect that requires the product maker to warn individuals about known hazards when the product is used in the manner in which it is intended to be used or in an otherwise likely and foreseeable manner.
The plaintiffs in this instance allege a marketing defect, or the failure to warn. They are not saying that there is something wrong with the way Roundup was designed, or the way in which it was manufactured. Instead, there is something wrong with the way it was marketed: Consumers were not adequately warned about cancer risks associated with use of the weed killer.
Contact an Oceanside Product Defect Lawyer
If you have questions about filing a product liability lawsuit, an experienced product defect attorney in Oceanside can assist you. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about the services we provide to personal injury plaintiffs in Southern California.
See Related Blog Posts:
(image courtesy of Andrew Branch)