Dangerous Weed Killers
Weeds can lead to frustration and destroy flowers and grass. On farms, they are even more problematic as they can ruin a farmer’s seasonal crops. Getting rid of weeds becomes a weekly job when you are trying to keep your outside yard clean and tidy in the warmer months.
A common method of removing weeds is by pulling them out by hand, but this is not always effective if you fail to pull it from the root. A common alternative to use is a chemical weed killer, where you simply spray product over the weed and let the weed die on its own. One of the most common forms of this weed killer is Monsanto’s Roundup Weed and Grass Killer. It is used extensively both in agricultural industries and for personal lawn and garden care.
However, there have been reports that have linked the popular herbicide to certain forms of cancer. Companies that fail to warn customers about the risk of their products could find themselves liable for damages.
Monsanto’s Roundup Weed and Grass Killer is the most used herbicide in the world, used extensively both in agricultural industries and for personal lawn and garden care. Recently, there have been increased concerns about its key ingredient, glyphosate, and the development of deadly cancers. Monsanto, a subsidiary of Bayer, has been the subject of numerous lawsuits from Roundup users who have been diagnosed with cancer. If you have received a cancer diagnosis after using Roundup, speak with one of our Philadelphia products liability lawyers to review your legal options.
Roundup is used routinely by workers in many industries, including farming, gardening, and landscaping. Since it hit the market in 1974, it has become widely used all over the world and now brings in billions in revenue for Monsanto each year. Monsanto has even released a line of seeds designed to be resistant to Roundup, increasing related revenue.
What Chemical in Weed Killer Is Linked to Cancer?
Many lawn and garden workers use Roundup daily. For decades, there have been reports of people with prolonged exposure to the chemical in Roundup developing lymphatic cancers. Monsanto has routinely denied these reports, claiming that Roundup is safe to use even as more claims have been filed. Traces of glyphosate have even shown up in numerous food products whose origins include farms that use Roundup, causing other companies, such as Quaker Oats, to face backlash as well.
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not include glyphosate on its list of carcinogens, a 2015 study by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals a link between glyphosate and multiple types of cancer. WHO conducted a thorough review of existing research into glyphosate’s cancer-causing potential. Based on these findings, they classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
Additionally, recent lawsuits have included internal documents showing Monsanto may have influenced the EPA’s statements declaring that glyphosate was safe when used as directed. Other countries have taken a much stronger stance on glyphosate, including France and the Netherlands, which have banned the product.
Are Other Weed Killers Safe?
While Roundup is the most common weed killer on the market, it will garner the greater attention when it comes to lawsuits for its potential links to cancer. That does not mean that other weed killers are safer to use. Many of them contain glyphosate as well as other dangerous chemicals and carcinogens that have known links to cancer.
If you are unsure about another weed killer or if you have purchased one and you are worried that it could pose a threat to you or your family, there are several steps you can take. These include:
- Follow labels: Always check the labels of whatever product you are purchasing. Go over the ingredients to determine that it does not include anything toxic.
- Protect yourself: No matter the type of herbicide you are using, you should always wear gloves, glasses, and cover any exposed skin to prevent the chemical from getting into your system.
- Use on sunny days: You should avoid using the product on rainy or windy days to prevent the chemical from drifting.
- Let dry: Wait until the treated space is dry before letting pets or people near the area.
If you still want to fight weeds but are not comfortable with a chemical herbicide, there are alternative options you can use. One is to use vinegar on unwanted weeds, or make a homemade remedy that you can use on your yard’s weeds. Other people like to use only organic products. Finally, if all else fails and you do not mind the work, you can always pull the weeds out by hand.
Are There Any Lawsuits Pending Against Monsanto?
There are currently over 8,000 lawsuits against Monsanto in state and federal courts. The first case to go to trial in 2018 involved a groundskeeper who was accidentally soaked in the herbicide on two separate occasions and was later diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was awarded $289.5 million after a jury concluded that his disease was caused by his exposure to Roundup. The most recent lawsuit, filed by two California farmers who both contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, returned an award of $2.055 billion, including $55 million in compensatory damages and a staggering $2 billion in punitive damages against Monsanto.
The products liability lawsuits against Monsanto allege that:
- Glyphosate is a carcinogen.
- Monsanto knew that their product could cause cancer.
- Monsanto failed to warn consumers about the potential risks of using Roundup.
- Monsanto intentionally misled consumers and government agencies about the dangers of glyphosate.
Are There Any Class Action Lawsuits?
Some of the cases pending against Monsanto are class action lawsuits, in which groups of workers who have had a similar experience have come together to pursue legal action. Class action lawsuits are an effective way for individuals who may not have the resources to take on a major corporation on their own to get justice for their suffering.
In a class action suit, one plaintiff is selected to argue their case on behalf of the larger group. To be eligible to join a class action suit, an individual’s circumstances must have similar characteristics to that of the lead plaintiff. Lawsuits involving Monsanto include plaintiffs who developed lymphatic cancer after using the product for years, unaware that they were putting themselves at risk.
What Are My Options if I am Harmed by a Dangerous Product?
Companies that manufacture, produce, and market products have an obligation to be upfront and honest with their customers about any potential risks associated with a product. They must also design and manufacture products so that they are safe for the intended audience. When that fails to happen, accidents can occur and cause severe harm to individuals. It could make the company that created the product liable for any damage that was caused.
A product defect can occur at three different stages along the production line. Those stages include:
- Design: When a product is imagined there could be a flaw that is designed into the product that is dangerous to customers. A sign of this occurring is when there is a problem with all the products.
- Manufacturing: A flaw can develop as the product is being put together. It could be a faulty machine in one factory or a person failing to properly secure a bolt or something minor. In these instances, only a portion of the products have problems.
- Marketing: This covers all aspects of the reporting of a product from its label, including warnings listed on them to how a product is marketed. For instance, if a dangerous product is deliberately marketed to younger children.
When you suffer injuries because of a product defect or you contract a disease because you were unaware of the dangers a certain chemical posed, you can file a claim against the company that produced the product along one of those three main areas.
When you file a claim against one of these companies, you can seek compensation for many of your economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Past and future medical bills.
- Past and future lost wages.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Property damage.
- Physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering.
- Scarring, disfigurement, and/or permanent disability.
- Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses in the event of a death.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the accident and injuries.
Our Philadelphia products liability lawyers can help those who have been injured due to a faulty product.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Provide Comprehensive Representation in Weed Killer Lawsuits
If you have been diagnosed with cancer after interacting with Roundup or another weed killer, call one of our Philadelphia products liability lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and pursue an aggressive legal strategy. Call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, Abington, Media, Pennsylvania, as well as Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.