Enjoying a lush green lawn or a weed-free garden has long been the goal of farmers, recreational planters and those who work in outdoor areas. To achieve this end, people have been using an herbicide called Roundup for decades. Little did they know that doing so could lead to significant risks that could even prove fatal. If you or someone you love used Roundup, you need to know whether you might be entitled to compensation for your exposure.
The Risks of Roundup Exposure
In 1974, Monsanto began to market an herbicide known as Roundup in the U.S. Its active ingredient is a chemical called Glyphosate that is highly effective in killing unwanted weeds and grasses that interfere with lawn, garden and crop growth. Because of its efficacy, Roundup was used on thousands of acres of land for decades. Unbeknownst to consumers, doing so brought with it the potential for illness and even death from conditions such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other cancers.
Exposure to Roundup happens every time you inhale Roundup’s vapors or it comes in contact with your skin or eyes. The effects of this exposure increase if:
- You don’t wash your hands after using Roundup and then smoke or eat. This results in ingestion of glyphosate.
- You touch plants after spraying them. Your skin subsequently absorbs the glyphosate.
- You eat foods that were sprayed with Roundup just before they were harvested.
The immediate effects of Roundup exposure are mild. You might experience nothing more than irritation of your eyes, nose or skin. If you happen to swallow any of the herbicide, you may feel nauseous, have diarrhea or experience a burning sensation in the lining of your throat. However, the larger concerns stem from the long-term consequences, some of which you may not learn about until years later.
In 2015, a branch of the World Health Organization officially linked glyphosate to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, deeming it to be “probably carcinogenic to humans.” As a direct result, hundreds of thousands of victims brought suit against Bayer, the conglomerate company that purchased Monsanto in 2018. Billions of dollars in settlements have subsequently been recovered, with the largest weighing in at a hefty $86.7 million. That being said, many are more modest, coming in between $5,000 and $10,000. Since each situation is unique, the only way to determine your potential award is to contact an attorney experienced in this type of litigation.
Should You File a Roundup Lawsuit?
You may be eligible to receive financial damages if:
- You were diagnosed with a Roundup-related cancer such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, B- or T-cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, etc.
- You used Roundup for residential purposes at least 10 times during your life.
- You used Roundup during the course of your work (farmer, groundskeeper, nursery worker, gardener, etc.)
Keep in mind that several cancers have been connected with prolonged Roundup Use. The best way to determine if your condition falls into one of these categories is to contact a qualified attorney.
Proving Your Roundup Use
In order to receive compensation for Roundup exposure, you need to demonstrate to a judge that you have used measurable amounts of this herbicide. Acceptable documentation can include the following:
- Receipts. These can be in the form of credit card statements, hard copies or credit card statements showing that you purchased Roundup.
- Invoices and work orders. These can be used to show that you were exposed to Roundup in major amounts at your place of employment.
- Witness testimony from people such as neighbors or coworkers who have personally seen you using Roundup.
- Empty Roundup bottles.
- Letters or photographs referencing your Roundup use.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and believe it to be related to your Roundup use, you must provide proof to the court. It should include the following:
- Proof of diagnosis from your oncologist.
- Treatment documentation, including diagnosis date, the course of treatment and a description of any risk factors for your type of cancer.
Medical records, doctor’s reports and appointment details can all be gathered as proof.
Types of Roundup Damages
There are two categories of damages that you can claim as a result of Roundup exposure:
- Economic. These losses represent a significant dollar value related to your exposure and can include lost wages, medical expenses, household costs, loss of income and funeral or burial costs if you are filing on behalf of a loved one. These can also contain estimates of future costs such as what you can expect to pay as your cancer progresses. Means of proof include medical bills, receipts for transportation and healthcare, financial statements, tax documents, etc.
- Non-economic. These are the intangible losses you have suffered resulting from your illness and may include pain, emotional anguish, isolation and disability. Proof can come in the form of witness testimony, photos, journal entries, etc.
Over the past few years, the courts have called Monsanto-Bayer to task for their egregious treatment of consumers by awarding victims with significant punitive damages that often go far beyond their economic costs. Hiring a reputable attorney is the best way to increase your chances of receiving the fair compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations
As with other types of personal injury lawsuits, Roundup cases can only be filed within a limited window of time. Exactly what that will be varies according to the state in which you live. In some jurisdictions, the clock starts ticking from the date on which you were diagnosed; for others, it may begin when Roundup’s negative effects were revealed to the public.
If you believe your cancer is related to your use of Roundup, don’t let time run out. Connecting with a personal injury attorney who has experience with this particular type of case in your jurisdiction is the best way to ensure that you receive the full extent of the compensation and damages you deserve. With the right team on your side, you can take on Monsanto-Bayer’s legal team and win. Don’t wait another day. Contact us today!