Audet & Partners, LLP Launches Groundbreaking Class Action Lawsuit Based on Roundup Cancer Link

Roundup Class Action Complaint

On April 24, 2019, Audet & Partners, LLP filed the first widespread class action lawsuit against Monsanto based on the established link between Roundup weed killer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Prior to the initiation of this lawsuit, Monsanto had been sued by individual plaintiffs for compensatory and punitive damages. Audet & Partners, LLP played an integral role in obtaining a $289 million verdict for plaintiff Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, and another $80 million jury verdict for Edward Hardeman. You can learn more about our work with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hardeman below.

The Roundup class action lawsuit is being led by Audet & Partners, LLP founder and managing partner, William M. Audet.  You can click here to view detailed information on Mr. Audet’s credentials and experience.

Third Roundup Trial Awards Plaintiffs $2 Billion Verdict

On May 13, 2019, a California jury awarded plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod a verdict of $55 million in non-economic and economic damages in addition to $1 billion each in punitive damages against Monsanto.  Monsanto unsuccessfully attempted to refute the plaintiffs’ toxicology expert who testified that Monsanto made glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – fifty times more toxic by including polyethoxylated tallow amine in tis formula.  Expert testimony stated that this ingredient facilitates the ability of glyphosate to penetrate the skin leading to quick dispersion to the bones, where lymphoma originates.

As was presented in previous trials, attorneys for the plaintiffs called attention to Monsanto’s alleged efforts to suppress science suggesting the carcinogenic properties of glyphosate by ghostwriting articles and supplying environmental regulators with “bad science.”

Mark Burton of Audet & Partners, LLP assisted the Roundup trial team representing the Pilloids.  Audet & Partners, LLP is currently leading the first Roundup class action lawsuit representing Roundup users who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  To join the class action, please complete and submit the inquiry form on the right side of this page.

Audet & Partners, LLP Assists in Obtaining $80 Million Verdict in First Roundup Jury Trial

Attorney Mark Burton Roundup Lawyer
Mark Burton, an attorney representing Edwin Hardeman in his suit against Roundup manufacturer Bayer AG, arrives at federal court on Monday, February 25, 2019 in San Francisco. (Associated Press)

A unanimous jury in Northern California has returned an $80 million verdict in favor of Edwin Hardeman against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup weed killer.  The jury found Roundup to have been a significant contributing factor to Mr. Hardeman’s 2015 diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Mr. Hardeman had been using Roundup on his Sonoma County property since the 1980’s, continuing to use the herbicide until 2012.  The jury rejected Monsanto’s defense arguing that Roundup is a safe product.  Audet & Partners, LLP served as one of the law firms representing Mr. Hardeman.

Audet & Partners, LLP attorney Mark Burton with Edwin Hardeman.

On March 27, 2019, the jury awarded the 70-year-old Mr. Hardeman $200,967 in economic damages, approximately $5 million in future and past noneconomic damages, and $75 million in punitive damages. Audet & Partners, LLP attorney Mark Burton has served as an important member of the Roundup trial team which has requested unspecified punitive damages for injuries suffered by Mr. Hardeman.  The primary theory behind the request for punitive damages stems from evidence that Monsanto may have both failed to conduct its own cancer studies related to Roundup and failed to warn consumers of the cancer risk posed by prolonged use of the product.  While Mr. Burton and the Monsanto trial team have not yet quantified the amount of punitive damages being sought, it is noted that Monsanto currently has accrued $2,4 billion in cash and has an assessed net worth of $7.8 billion. On August 10, 2018, after an eight-week trial in a San Francisco Superior Court,  jurors returned a verdict in favor of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a former groundskeeper whose job required the use of Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers. The jury rejected Monsanto’s arguments that years of ‘science’ refuted Mr. Johnson’s claimed link between Roundup and his terminal cancer diagnosis.

Listen to a 2019 interview of Attorney Mark Burton by Lindsey Lusher Shute, co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition discussing the Monsanto case:

Dewayne “Lee” Johnson embraces Audet and Partners, LLP attorney Mark Burton minutes after learning of the $289.2 million verdict against Monsanto.

Audet & Partners, LLP served as local counsel for the Plaintiff and hosted the plaintiff’s trial team during the almost two-month trial. (Case entitled: Johnson v. Monsanto Company, San Francisco Superior Court, case number: CGC016-550128). The lawsuit claimed that exposure to the Roundup and Ranger Pro sprayed while working as a groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District resulted in Mr. Johnson contracting non-Hodgkin lymphoma (“NHL”).   Mr. Johnson’s doctors believe that Mr. Johnson has less than six months left to live as a result of the aggressive cancer. The jury determined that Monsanto’s herbicides were a substantial factor in causing injury to the plaintiff and caused Mr. Johnson to develop NHL, and that Monsanto failed to warn of this severe health hazard. Importantly, the jury also found that Monsanto acted with malice, oppression and/or fraud and should be punished for its conduct, resulting in punitive damages against Monsanto awarded to Mr. Johnson in the amount of $350 million.  The finding of malice, however, was reversed in an October 22, 2018 Order that reduced the damage award to $39.2 million.  You can click here to view a copy of this Order online. Monsanto has yet to warn consumers of the potential dangers of its multibillion dollar herbicides despite the fact that, in 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a leading institute on the issues related to cancer, listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

Monsanto Roundup Verdict Form
View the historic Verdict Form in the Monsanto Roundup case

As the jury heard during the trial, Monsanto’s own witnesses testified that company employees in fact “ghostwrote” scientific articles and compensated outside scientists to publish articles regarding Roundup under the scientists’ names in order to mislead the public as to the carcinogenic properties of Roundup.  Other internal documents surfacing at trial demonstrated that a scientific advisor hired by Monsanto told the company that past testing was insufficient because glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup was tested in isolation without the other chemical ingredients that make up the product’s formulation. Mr. Johnson offered emotional testimony at trial: “I never would’ve sprayed that product on school grounds or around people if I knew it would cause them harm.” As Mr. Johnson stated “It’s unethical. It’s wrong. People don’t deserve that.”  Mr. Audet’s firm, Audet & Partners, LLP, intends, along with his co-counsel, to continue to hold Monsanto accountable to those who suffered an injury as a result of exposure to Roundup and Ranger Pro. “We can only hope that this verdict is a finally a wakeup call to Monsanto” noted Attorney William M. Audet. If you have used Monsanto Roundup and have subsequently been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you are urged to contact a toxic chemical class action lawyer at Audet & Partners, LLP for a free, confidential case evaluation.  To request a consultation, please complete and submit the inquiry form on the right side of this page.

Mark Burton’s Work on Monsanto Roundup Case Recognized by The National Law Journal

On January 15, 2019, The National Law Journal recognized Audet & Partners, LLP attorney Mark Burton as a member of The Mass Tort Trial Team of the Year for his work with Brent Wisner and David Dickens on the Monsanto Roundup case.  This award is given to the trial team that “shaped the legal profession through leadership, innovation and success in the practice of civil plaintiff or criminal defense law.”  Mark will be honored in the 2019 Trial Lawyers Summit held in South Beach, Florida, January 20-23, 2019.  You may click here to view the complete article announcing this award to Mark Burton. Press Inquiries For press inquiries regarding the Monsanto Roundup trial or verdict, please click here to email William Audet and Mark Burton.  

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