Lawyers for a winery employee in Napa County with 33 years of experience working for the Sutter Home group of vintners agreed earlier this week to a settlement offered by Bayer. The undisclosed sum will go to the four sons of Jamie Alvarez Calderon, who passed away last year from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Like roughly 125,000 other plaintiffs, Calderon blamed his cancer on spraying Roundup.
The settlement was offered by Bayer only after the U.S. District Judge (Northern District of California) overseeing federal Roundup cases denied Monsanto’s to exclude testimony was denied. Because of this ruling, the case, without the settlement, would have moved closer to trial.
Calderon often worked in the vineyards while carrying a backpack sprayer. According to U.S. Right To Know, the family attorney for the plaintiff, David Diamond, said that Mr. Calderon would often go home in the evenings with his clothing wet from Roundup herbicide. Mr. Calderon was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014. He would undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy and other treatments before dying in December 2019.
Bayer, the Germany-based owner of Monsanto, announced last year that it would settle approximately 90,000 Roundup lawsuits for approximately $10 billion. The settlement does not cover federal lawsuits, which number at least 3,500. In addition, Bayer was ordered to revise a settlement plan and offer for future Roundup litigation. Initially, Bayer proposed to settle future Roundup cancer cases for $1.25 billion. The company later announced that it had increased that amount to $2 billion.
Meanwhile, Diamond says that although he is happy a settlement in principle agreement has been reached for Mr. Calderon’s family, he has over 400 other unresolved Roundup lawsuits.
U.S. Right to Know says there are at least six other law firms with Roundup plaintiffs seeking 2021 trial dates.
Thus far, only three Roundup lawsuits have gone to trial. Each one has resulted in multi-million-dollar plaintiff victories. Juries in all three trials decided that Roundup, the world’s best-selling weed and grass killer, contributed to the plaintiffs’ cancer, and that for decades, Monsanto hid the potential health risks of the herbicide.
Bayer’s attempts to have the three trial decisions overturned have failed. Roundup is still legal for commercial use, and is deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2019, Costco announced it would no longer sell Roundup products in its stores. Glyphosate-based weed abatement has been curbed or banned by several municipalities in the U.S. Recently, New York state passed a bill that will ban glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup, on state lands.
For more articles related to glyphosate, Roundup and Bayer, click here.