Opening Arguments Begin Over Monsanto’s Roundup Lawsuit

At the San Francisco Superior Court, opening statements for the lawsuit against Monsanto’s Roundup Weed Killer had begun. This would be the first among thousands of other lawsuits that allege Roundup weed killer contains a cancer-causing ingredient.

The case revolved around Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year old groundskeeper. According to his statement, Johnson developed cancer two years into his job at the Benicia School District, in 2012. His job involves spraying large quantities of Monsanto Roundup, almost 50 to 60 gallons at one time. He received the diagnosis after 2 years of constant exposure to the product. In fact, lesions appeared on his body, and hence he went in for a checkup. According to the plaintiff’s attorney, Monsanto, the producer, denied Johnson the right to choose.

The company did not clearly disclose the dangerous effects of using the product.

Another fundamental part of the plaintiff’s opening statements includes the attorney’s explanation of how there has been a significant amount of evidence stating that exposure to glyphosate-based products leads to genetic structure damage. He also mentioned that producer Monsanto made efforts to have the research and information suppressed.

George Lombardi, the defense attorney, responded to the statement by saying that the plaintiff’s cancer had not begun developing after he started using Roundup. Lombardi alleged that Johnson already had cancer. He mentioned that there was much scientific evidence in favor of the fact that products containing Glyphosate don’t lead to cancer. As a result, Roundup Weed Killer did not cause the plaintiff to develop cancer.

Brent Wisner, the defense attorney, stated that Monsanto was at fault for not disclosing crucial information to Johnson about the product he was using.  The plaintiff even contacted the producer twice to learn whether it was possible that their product, Roundup, was a causal factor in him developing cancer. 

According to environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., there is no surprise in Monsanto’s efforts to quell evidence of their products causing cancer. He states that there is sufficient proof regarding the ingredients causing cancer, but the company keeps it from reaching consumers.

The defense again responded with a similar statement. This gist of their statement is that the most significant study would be one that has researched the effects of glyphosate on pesticide experts like the plaintiff himself. He continued to say that even such studies have failed to derive an association between the ingredient and the plaintiff’s cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The current situation shows that Dewayne Johnson will testify against Roundup Weed Killer producer, Monsanto. However, his attorneys have yet to specify how much in damages they will demand. Nonetheless, the case of Johnson v. Monsanto Co. et al. is the first of its kind. Hence, the result will be a future precedent that judges and juries can rely on. Lawyers may refer to it much sooner than one expects. In fact, attorneys Brent Wisner and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. state that thousands of clients have similar claims about developing cancer after exposure to the product.