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Roundup Lawsuit: Overview and Latest Updates

Curious about the latest Roundup lawsuit updates? We explain what the Roundup cancer lawsuits are about and share the latest in this guide.

evident Editorial Team
November 28, 2023
gavel, law books

Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world, is facing lawsuits due to allegations that a chemical in the product caused people to develop cancer. In 2020, Bayer (who acquired Monsanto, the company that developed Roundup) agreed to pay over $10 billion to settle thousands of claims. 

But thousands of Roundup lawsuits are still pending, and juries are still awarding claimants multimillion-dollar awards, with one such mega award handed down in October 2023.

In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about Roundup lawsuits, including:

  • Why Roundup is getting sued
  • What the latest Roundup lawsuit updates are
  • Whether you can still file new Roundup lawsuits
  • What the average payout for the Roundup lawsuits are
  • And much more. 

So keep reading to get a better sense of the Roundup lawsuits and the latest updates to be aware of. 

Key Takeaways

What is the Roundup lawsuit about?

Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world, with both a residential and commercial formula for at-home use and on big farms, respectively. But the product has been the subject of many cancer lawsuits over the last few years, and over 100,000 people have sued its parent company after developing health issues. 

At the core of most Roundup lawsuits is the allegation that glyphosate, a key chemical in Roundup’s formula, is a dangerous toxin that can cause people who are exposed to it to develop cancer. The most notable health condition at issue in the Roundup lawsuits is non-Hodgkins lymphoma, though people have sued over other forms of cancer as well.

Bayer–who in 2018 acquired Monsanto, the maker of Roundup–stands by its product and points to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment that there is allegedly no direct link between glyphosate and cancer. But other studies, including by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization agency, have come to the conclusion that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” And a meta-analysis “of human epidemiological studies suggests a compelling link between exposures to GBHs and increased risk for” non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Additionally, the 9th Circuit has ordered the EPA to revisit its assessment.

Allegations about Roundup thus include both claims that Roundup causes cancer and that the company actively deceived customers about the product’s safety.  

But again, Bayer stands by its product and argues that any type of cancer warning on Roundup would be at odds with the Environmental Protection Agency’s evaluation of glyphosate and its risks. 

Brief Overview of Roundup Lawsuits

Roundup litigation has been ongoing for years, with the first case to go to trial resulting in a $289 million jury award in 2018.  

In 2020, Bayer offered to pay nearly $11 billion to resolve over 100,000 existing claims against the company. However, the judge rejected Bayer’s offer to resolve all future Roundup cancer claims for $2 billion. 

To date, well over 100,000 claims have been filed and resolved. Thousands of Roundup weedkiller cancer lawsuits are also still working their way through the courts. Many of those claims are pending in California MDL (short for multidistrict litigation). The California courts website created a webpage for people to monitor the developments in the MDL proceedings.

And the door is not shut on future Roundup plaintiffs – Bayer attempted to settle future claims for $2 billion as part of their landmark $10+ billion settlement of over the Roundup class action lawsuit, but the judge rejected that aspect of the settlement, calling the offer unreasonable. 

New Roundup lawsuits are still being filed by people who used Roundup and developed medical conditions that may have been caused by exposure to glyphosate. 

Recent Roundup Lawsuit Updates 2023

Claims are still being decided, and juries are still handing out substantial awards to plaintiffs. A few recent updates from various courts across the country include:

  • October 2023 Jury Award: A San Diego jury recently awarded $332 million to a plaintiff who claimed using Roundup for decades caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury award included $7 million of compensatory damages and $325 million of punitive damages. Monsanto has indicated it will appeal the jury award as excessive. In other instances, though, judges have reduced Roundup jury awards to numbers that still amount to tens of millions of dollars in compensation. 
  • July 2022 11th Circuit Decision: An appeals court in the 11th Circuit (which has jurisdiction over federal cases originating in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia) revived a Roundup lawsuit and rejected arguments from Bayer that federal law prevented claims against Bayer under state laws. 
  • June 2022 Supreme Court Decision: The US Supreme Court rejected a challenge by Bayer to an $87 million award to a California couple who developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma after using Roundup for decades. The jury initially awarded $2 billion in damages, which the trial judge reduced to the still substantial $87 million award. The Supreme Court rejected Bayer’s arguments and upheld the $87 million award. 

Bayer has also won cases as well, though, starting with a 2021 jury decision that Roundup did not cause a child’s cancer. As mentioned, Roundup has also had success reducing jury awards on appeal, though the resulting awards are often still substantial. 

Other Roundup Lawsuit Updates

Separate from the success or failure of individual Roundup cancer lawsuits, a couple of other noteworthy court decisions have been handed down since the Roundup glyphosate litigation began. 

Notably, in June 2022, the appeals court for the 9th Circuit ordered the EPA to revisit its “decision determining that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup, does not pose ‘any unreasonable risk to man or the environment.’”

More recently, in June 2023, Bayer reached a $6.9 billion settlement to resolve allegations by New York’s Attorney General that the company made false and misleading claims about the weedkiller’s safety for the environment. While the settlement was focused on Bayer’s advertising practices and potential harm to the environment, not to humans, the settlement represents billions of dollars of liability the company has faced due to Roundup.

Can you still file a Roundup lawsuit?

Yes, many Roundup cancer lawsuits are still pending, and it is not too late for individuals to bring their claims. Bayer attempted to resolve all future Roundup lawsuits for $2 billion, but a judge rejected that effort, and individuals are still filing Roundup lawsuits. 

The key question for many people interested in filing a new Roundup lawsuit is whether the applicable statute of limitations has passed. 

Roundup Lawsuit Statute of Limitations

New Roundup lawsuits are still being filed, but you may be wondering, “is there a time limit to file a Roundup cancer lawsuit?” 

Yes, states have statutes of limitations, which is basically legalese for a time limit on when you can file a lawsuit. Statutes of limitations are typically measured either from the time that something occurs (such as an injury happens) or from the time that an injury is discovered. (Think of it this way - if someone breaks their leg, they usually notice it right away, which is different from someone realizing they’ve developed cancer or another less visible medical condition). 

The applicable statute of limitations depends on the state where you live. In Roundup cancer lawsuits, the statute of limitations is typically two to four years from either the date of a cancer diagnosis or from when the person learns of the alleged link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

It is best to consult experienced Roundup lawyers if you have questions about the statute of limitation in your state or your eligibility to file a Roundup lawsuit. 

What proof do you need for a Roundup lawsuit?

To understand the viability of a potential Roundup cancer lawsuit, your best bet is to connect with an experienced Roundup lawyer who can advise you based on the specifics of your circumstances. 

As a general matter, though, here are a few things to keep in mind about who qualifies for a Roundup lawsuit and what you would have to prove to be able to win:

  • You were exposed for an extended period of time to Roundup through direct use, or you were exposed to substantial amounts of Roundup while 12 years of age or younger
  • You were diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma on June 1, 2018, or later (note that some other qualifying cancers also meet the criteria)
  • You have time to file within the statute of limitations for your state

As evidenced by these criteria, who qualifies for a Roundup lawsuit depends on the facts of your Roundup exposure as well as the legal context within your state. That is why it can be so important to consult an attorney to get a sense of the options available to you. 

The attorney will be able to discuss with you the relative merits or challenges of proving that being exposed to Roundup and glyphosate contributed to the development of your medical condition.

Has anyone received any money from the Roundup lawsuit?

Yes, some Roundup plaintiffs who have already settled their cases have already received money. A "special master" was also put in place to help administer the nearly $11 billion settlement, but given the sheer number of claims involved (over 100,000), it could take years for some people to receive money from the Roundup cancer lawsuits.

What is the average payout for the Roundup lawsuit?

Some experts estimate that the average payout for a Roundup lawsuit will be approximately $160,000. The Special Master will determine the payout amount for Roundup plaintiffs involved in the Roundup class action lawsuit settlement, though, so not every claimant will receive the same amount.

Has Roundup changed its formula?

Given the lawsuits and the substantial jury awards, you might wonder, “Has Roundup been banned? Or did they change their formula?” 

Roundup has been banned in several countries, including Columbia, France, Holland, and Sri Lanka. Most recently, Vietnam banned the use of the herbicide as well. 

In the US, however, Roundup has not been banned, though Bayer has said it will stop selling its residential Roundup formula in 2023.