ST. LOUIS – “Our lawsuit seeks to hold Monsanto financially accountable for selling a product that’s falsely represented. We believe the people that bought that product under false pretenses should get their money back,” said Don Downing of the law firm Gray, Ritter, and Graham.
Downing is among the local attorney’s representing plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed against Monsanto in June.
“They purchased a product that was represented by Monsanto to be safe when used as directed. There are numerous studies out there now, including one by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for the Research of Cancer, that determined there’s a link between cancer and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer,” Downing said.
In a statement, Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer, disputes the lawsuit:
“The Environmental Protection Agency reaffirmed in April of this year that ‘there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.’”
In March, a California jury awarded $80 million in damages to a 70-year-old man after determining glyphosate likely caused his cancer. This week, a judge lowered the award to $25 million, citing constitutional limits set by the US Supreme Court.
“We feel we do have appellate precedent now that supports the very case we’re bringing against Monsanto with regards to Roundup,” Downing said.
But this Missouri lawsuit is different than the California case. It does not seek damages for people who got cancer.
“Our lawsuit seeks to hold Monsanto financially accountable for selling a product that’s falsely represented and we believe the people that bought that product under false pretenses should get their money back,” Downing said.
How it all could play out won’t be known for some time. Should the case go to court, it likely wouldn’t happen until more than a year from now.
“We stand behind our glyphosate-based products and will vigorously defend them,” said Bayer in a statement.
“They are known for very aggressive litigation tactics but we’re ready. We’ve litigated against well-heeled defendants for many years and so we’re ready for that,” Downing said.
We’ll continue to follow the situation and bring you any developments.