April 13, 2016 — A federal judge in California has rejected a bid by Monsanto to dismiss a lawsuit that was filed by a man who says the weed-killer Roundup caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The lawsuit (PDF) was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on February 1, 2016 (Case No. 3:16-cv-00525).
The plaintiff, Edward Hardeman, is a resident of Sonoma County who used Roundup to kill weeds and poison oak on his property. After decades of exposure, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells.
He accuses Monsanto of failing to warn that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is a known human carcinogen that has been linked to lymphoma in many studies.
Monsanto argued that his lawsuit should be dismissed because failure-to-warn claims are preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Monsanto also says the label on Roundup has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria disagreed because simply having an EPA-approved label “does not prevent a jury from finding that that same label violates FIFRA.” The judge also said FIFRA requires “adequate” warnings about the potential risks of herbicides. In an order (PDF) denying the motion to dismiss, Judge Chhabria wrote:
“In this light, it’s hard to see how Hardeman’s failure-to-warn claims could ‘be construed more broadly than’ FIFRA. Indeed, Hardeman’s complaint explicitly bases his California-law failure-to-warn claims on Monsanto’s alleged violation of FIFRA.”
Last year, an agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Roundup a “probable human carcinogen” based on evidence from several studies around the world linking it to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In September 2015, Roundup was listed as “known to the state to cause cancer” by the California Environmental Protection Agency under Proposition 65.
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The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Roundup induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Toxic Chemical Exposure Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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