On Dec. 5, a special master appointed to an upcoming St. Louis Roundup cancer trial handed down a decision ordering former Monsanto CEO and Chairman Hugh Grant to testify in person at the trial, which is set to begin in January. Grant was subpoenaed by lawyers representing plaintiff Sharlean Gordon, who was diagnosed with a debilitating and recurring case of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup on her property for 25 years.
Grant led Monsanto from 2003 until Bayer acquired it in 2018. He did not appear in any of the three Roundup trials that have already gone to court, which took place in California. But as a St. Louis County resident, Gordon’s lawyers saw an opportunity to bring him in. Grant attempted to quash the subpoena to get out of testifying, but the special master’s ruling means it’s non-optional.
In the decision, Special Master Thomas Prebil said that “although Mr. Grant does not have scientific knowledge that doubtless will be a significant component to this lawsuit, he was CEO of Monsanto for 15 years and took part in presentations, discussions, interviews and other appearances for Monsanto as CEO in which the topics of Roundup and glyphosate were explained, discussed and defended.”
Sharlean Gordon’s case came from a larger consolidated case filed in 2017 on behalf of over 75 plaintiffs, and will be the first of that group to go to trial. Hers is one of six Roundup cancer trials set to begin in January 2020. There is also one trial set to begin in February, two set to begin in March and several other trials scheduled until October 2021. Among the plaintiffs of trials beginning in January are two children, including a 12-year-old boy who developed cancer after being exposed to Roundup in his family’s yard while playing outside for years.
The number of Roundup cancer cases filed against Monsanto has skyrocketed in recent months, going from 18,400 to 42,7000 between July and October. All three of the Roundup cases that have gone to trial so far have resulted in juries unanimously ruling that Roundup caused plaintiffs to develop cancer and ordering Monsanto to pay enormous sums of money. Monsanto has since appealed all three of the verdicts.
If you or a loved one has developed cancer after being exposed to glyphosate in Roundup, please call Pogust Millrood toll free at (888) 348-6787 or direct to our Pennsylvania office at (610) 941-4204 to see if you are entitled to seek damages.
A Pennsylvania native, Mike Daly has spent most of his life in the greater Philadelphia area. A proud graduate of Penn State and the Villanova School of Law, he's currently a partner at Pogust Millrood, where he represents individuals throughout the country in class action and mass tort claims involving consumer fraud, environmental harm, defective medical devices, and harmful pharmaceuticals.