Another Victory for Roundup Victims: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Unanimously Rules Claims Are Not Preempted by Federal Law
For more information, contact: Leslie Brueckner, 510-520-2185
July 12, 2022: In a significant win for cancer victims across the country, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit just unanimously ruled, in Carson v. Monsanto, that federal law does not preempt state law failure-to-warn claims involving Roundup. That ruling followed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Hardeman v. Monsanto, which similarly rejected Monsanto’s argument that EPA’s approval of Roundup immunizes it from tort liability. The federal courts are now in complete agreement on this point—which makes it highly unlikely that the U.S. Supreme Court will accept the issue for review.
Leslie A. Brueckner, Bailey Glasser partner and co-lead of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice team (then Senior Attorney with Public Justice), along with David J. Wool (Wool Trial Law LLC), filed an amicus brief in the Carson matter. Brueckner and Wool were also co-lead appellate counsel before the Ninth Circuit in Hardeman v. Monsanto, where they won a landmark ruling affirming a $25 million jury verdict on behalf of a California man who got non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from his exposure to Roundup.
“Monsanto’s goose is getting completely cooked by these decisions,” commented Leslie Brueckner. “With two circuits weighing in against it, and the United States itself saying these claims aren’t preempted, it’s hard to imagine SCOTUS taking this on. That’s great news for public safety, because Roundup remains Monsanto’s bestselling product and the number one weedkiller in the world. It is still killing and injuring thousands of consumers and farmworkers every year. At some point the carnage needs to stop. This decision is just one more hopeful step in that direction.”
In addition to this Circuit Court victory, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on June 17, 2022, struck down an EPA determination related to glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, on the basis that the EPA had failed to follow its very own Cancer Risk Assessment guidelines in finding that glyphosate is likely non-carcinogenic to humans. NRDC et al. v. U.S. EPA, 9th Cir. No. 20-70801 (June 17, 2022). Monsanto had been touting the flawed EPA finding as evidence that both glyphosate and Roundup are perfectly safe. But the Ninth Circuit has now clearly held that EPA’s conclusions regarding glyphosate are so deeply flawed that a “reasonable mind” could not agree with the agency that glyphosate is safe for humans.
Thousands of Roundup lawsuits remain pending against Monsanto in federal and state trial courts across the country. And because Roundup is still on the market, more lawsuits are being filed every day.
Brueckner, along with a Trial Team made up of David Wool and Bailey Glasser’s Brian Glasser, David Selby, Todd Mathews, Jackalyn A. Olinger Rochelle, and Christina Hutchins, is currently preparing to try the next Roundup case in St. Louis, MO. That case, Nathaniel Evans v. Monsanto, No. 1722-CC01372-01, which is currently set for trial in October, will be one of the first cases to be tried in Monsanto’s back yard.