Roundup, an agricultural chemical used as weed killer and produced by Monsanto, is linked to certain cancers in landscapers and farmers, as well as other individuals exposed to the product. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, has been found to be a probable carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Specifically, the product’s active-ingredient, glyphosate, is linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that originates in the disease-fighting network of your body—the lymphatic system. Numerous lawsuits have already been filed against Monsanto by those injured by this dangerous, cancer-causing substance.
At Allan Berger & Associates, we are committed to helping injured clients or families who have lost a loved one due to Roundup-induced cancer recover the compensation they deserve from the agricultural chemical giant Monsanto.
When clients first come to our office with a potential injury claim against Monsanto for injuries sustained from use of and exposure to Roundup, they are often interested in trying to settle their claim rather than go to trial against this huge corporation. However, in this article we will explore the importance of preparing for trial and approaching your claim from a position of strength, even if you ultimately wish to settle your case.
Monsanto will only settle a claim to mitigate their potential liability.
Monsanto, like most major corporations, is in business to generate profits. When they agree to settle a lawsuit, it is generally not out of a desire to remedy their wrongdoing for moral or altruistic reasons—it is simply to avoid the potential of being ordered to pay even more money to an injured plaintiff pursuant to a court judgment against them, if they lose the case at trial.
The analysis of whether to settle a case or take it to trial involves consideration of many different factors. Part of the settlement negotiation process involves convincing Monsanto that it is in their own best interest to settle the case.
Preparing for trial tells Monsanto that you are serious and not intimated.
To successfully settle your claim or win at trial, you must have sufficient evidence to prove your claim. Beyond that, settlement negotiations and litigation involve a lot of posturing—giving the other side the impression that you are not intimidated by them and have full confidence in the strength of your claim and the fortitude to bring your case to trial if you are unsatisfied with their settlement offer.
A company like Monsanto obviously has a lot of resources at their disposal to mount a defense case against a personal injury claim. However, they also know that, ultimately, it is the evidence that will enable you to win your case. To prevail in a claim of injury caused by Roundup, your evidence must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that:
- Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is a probable carcinogenic and therefore defective;
- You used Roundup as it was intended to be used;
- You were injured (i.e. developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma); and
- The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was the cause of your injury.
If Monsanto knows that the evidence supporting your claim of injury is sufficient to win at trial and they believe you are willing to actually bring the case to court, they are likely to agree to a settlement.
You will likely need a medical causation opinion.
As outlined above, one of the elements you will need to prove to be successful in your claim of injury caused by Roundup is that the defect in the product—carcinogenic glyphosate—caused your injury. Proving this element generally requires medical proof and a medical opinion issued by a doctor.
A medical causation opinion is an opinion issued by a physician, with knowledge of your symptoms, condition, and medical history, about the actual and proximate cause of your injuries. The doctor should issue his or her opinion within a reasonable degree of medical certainty. This means that the doctor is able to review your past medical records, your treatment records for the condition(s) caused by Roundup, conduct a physical examination, and then opine whether or not a defect in Roundup, like the carcinogenic properties of its active ingredient, caused your injury.
It is crucial to have this opinion, not only to satisfy your burden as a plaintiff to prove your case, but also to refute the opposing medical opinion that Monsanto will likely offer into evidence.
The discovery phase of litigation can help to strengthen your claim and weaken Monsanto’s defenses.
Before your case goes to trial, there is a phase in the litigation process known as discovery. During the discovery phase, each side can investigate certain records and documents, conduct interviews, and depose witnesses.
Depositions are a very useful tool in these types of cases. Cross-examining Monsanto’s witnesses before the case goes to court can help to reveal the weaknesses in their case. This will strengthen your position during settlement negotiations.
One of the most common defenses in a Roundup injury case is “lack of causation.” In this defense, Monsanto may agree that you have cancer, but will argue that your cancer was caused by something other than Roundup. A skilled attorney will ask the defense’s witnesses strategic questions that weaken the credibility of their expert opinion and the strength of Monsanto’s defense, ultimately improving your position in settlement negotiations.
If you developed cancer after using Roundup or lost a loved one to cancer caused by Roundup, you do not have to face the agricultural chemical giant Monsanto alone. Our team of product liability and personal injury lawyers are skilled and knowledgeable in putting together strong evidence to support your claim and engaging in persuasive and assertive settlement negotiations.
If you believe you may be entitled to compensation for injuries caused by Roundup, contact us today for a consultation of your claim. We would be happy to review your case and help you recover compensation for the damages you suffered.