Landmark Legal Victory: Bayer Monsanto’s $175M Roundup Verdict

Bayer Monsanto’s Landmark Defeat in Roundup Cancer Case

The legal landscape, characterized by a complex web of laws, regulations, and judicial decisions, can often appear daunting to those outside the profession. Within the realm of lawsuits and mass torts, significant verdicts not only set precedents and sway public opinion but also serve as a testament to the pursuit of justice. A prime example is the recent ruling against Bayer’s Monsanto.

Key Points: 

  • A jury recently mandated that Bayer Monsanto pay $175 million to a Pennsylvania man who attributed his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to prolonged exposure to the company’s Roundup weedkiller. 
  • The plaintiff was awarded $25 million in compensatory damages, coupled with an additional $150 million in punitive damages, asserting that two decades of Roundup application in his garden was a causative factor for his cancer. 
  • Prior to this case, Bayer had celebrated a succession of nine consecutive victories in Roundup-related cases. However, a shift in the tide was observed earlier this month when a St. Louis state court jury awarded $1.25 million in damages to another individual attributing his cancer to the weedkiller. 
  • While compensatory damages are intended to provide restitution to the victim, punitive damages act as a deterrent and serve to reprimand the defendant, in this instance, Bayer’s Monsanto. The substantial punitive damages in this case are indicative of the jury’s stance on the company’s liability. 
  • As the legal battles surrounding Roundup persist, each verdict contributes to a broader narrative that shapes future lawsuits, corporate accountability, and informs potential claimants of their rights. 

The recent courtroom setback faced by Bayer in the Roundup case underscores the intricate relationship that exists between corporations and their products. For claimants, such verdicts symbolize hope and affirm that the legal system is a viable avenue for their grievances to be acknowledged and addressed. Conversely, for corporations, they act as stark reminders of their duties and the potential ramifications of their actions. 

In our capacity as legal professionals, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that claimants – the individuals who are at the forefront of these legal confrontations – are adequately informed, empowered, and supported throughout the judicial process. It is vital to recognize that each case number represents a unique human story, encapsulating elements of suffering, hope, and a quest for justice. 

In a world that can often seem dominated by corporate entities and prevailing power structures, verdicts such as the recent one against Bayer Monsanto highlight the potential power that individuals, when supported by a just legal system, can wield. For every claimant, it is a resounding affirmation that their voices are integral, their pain is recognized, and that justice, albeit sometimes elusive, is within reach. 

Significant Progress in Bard Hernia Mesh Litigation: Confirmation of Upcoming Stinson Bellwether Trial

Bard Hernia Mesh Update: Stinson Bellwether Trial Advances Despite Defense Motion 

In a noteworthy advancement within the Bard multidistrict litigation (MDL), the presiding court has confirmed that the Stinson bellwether trial, designated as the third of its kind, is scheduled to proceed on October 16, 2023.

On May 24, 2023, the defendants submitted a legal memorandum asserting that both plaintiff Aaron Stinson and Jacob Bryan, the fourth bellwether trial plaintiff scheduled for January 2024, no longer serve as suitable “representative” bellwether plaintiffs. The defendants posited that the forthcoming jury trials involving these plaintiffs would no longer yield substantial insights applicable to the broader MDL case pool, recommending their complete substitution with new plaintiffs. The defendants’ argument highlighted that Mr. Stinson’s additional surgery in May, involving the removal of a second Bard hernia device and subsequently his right testicle and spermatic cord, presented “new facts” that were not emblematic of the majority of MDL cases. They also stated that Mr. Bryan’s potentially evolving medical condition, with additional treatment and possible surgery on the horizon, rendered his case a “moving target.” 

On June 20, MDL Judge Edward Sargus ruled against this motion. The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) contended regarding Mr. Stinson that they plan to demonstrate that all subsequent injuries, including the Bard Mesh surgical removal and orchiectomy, stemmed from the initially defective PerFix Plug implant. The Committee asserted no claims against the Bard Mesh implanted in 2017 and removed in May 2023. Judge Sargus set limitations on the PSC from disclosing certain information regarding the Bard Mesh, while permitting the defense to propose that the recent surgery and Bard Mesh could be the intervening causes of Mr. Stinson’s orchiectomy. 

Furthermore, Judge Sargus dismissed the defense’s characterization of Mr. Bryan’s symptoms as “new injuries,” noting that Mr. Bryan had reported groin and testicular pain in a 2019 deposition, thereby the defense was already aware of these complaints. 

This effectively undermined what appeared to be the defense’s strategy to delay the impending bellwether trials. 

Subsequent to these developments, on July 13, Judge Sargus sanctioned a joint stipulation that established deadlines for the submission of additional post-operative medical records for Mr. Stinson, further depositions, the delivery of the parties’ revised expert reports, supplemental expert depositions, as well as additional Daubert motions and motions in limine. 

The next Case Management Conference in this ongoing MDL is slated for August 29, 2023, where the parties will continue to prepare for the trials ahead. 

Philips CPAP/BiPAP Recall Litigation: An Update on Key Deadlines and Proceedings

Philips CPAP/BiPAP Recall Litigation: Navigating Through Key Deadlines and Developments 

As of August 15, 2023, the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) involving Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices has 698 pending injury cases. An estimate provided by one of the manufacturing parties suggests that the total number of users potentially impacted by the issue could range from 40,000 to 60,000.

The litigation against Philips and its subsidiaries is divided into three primary segments: First, a class action is seeking restitution for economic losses incurred by claimants who purchased the faulty machines and were subsequently forced to cease their use. Second, a separate class action aims to establish a medical monitoring fund for patients apprehensive about the possibility of future illnesses due to the malfunctioning devices. Third, a comprehensive personal injury claim is being pursued for various injuries alleged to have been caused by exposure to toxic gases emitted by the deteriorating foam within the devices, or by patients inhaling the foam particles directly. 

The motions to dismiss filed by the defendants for all three categories of litigation have been comprehensively briefed. Oral arguments were presented before the MDL Judge, the Honorable Joy Flowers Conti, and the Special Master, the Honorable Thomas Vanaskie, on July 11, 2023. 

Koninklijke Philips N.V. (KPNV), the Dutch holding company, has presented a distinct motion to dismiss on the grounds that its interactions within the United States are insufficient to permit jurisdiction by the MDL court. This motion is scheduled for a decision following oral arguments on October 17, 2023. 

Detailed proposals outlining suggested deadlines were submitted by both plaintiffs and defendants on January 18, 2023. The plaintiffs’ counsel proposed that general fact discovery for personal injury cases conclude by February 18, 2024, that Daubert motions be scheduled for December 2024 or January 2025, and that discovery and mediation for specific or “bellwether” cases proceed throughout 2023. They also suggested that the selection of cases for discovery and a potential bellwether pool occur by April 2025, with trials for bellwether cases ready by mid-2026. 

Defendants have concurred on ending general fact discovery in February 2024. They have proposed that Daubert hearings take place in January or February 2025. Furthermore, they recommend that the subsequent year (2025-2026) be devoted to case-specific discovery and determinations of specific causation, Daubert expert discovery and hearings, culminating in the first bellwether trial toward the end of 2026. 

The protracted timelines are attributed to the anticipated extensive research and expert analysis necessary to address the myriad conditions alleged by victims to have resulted from the now-recalled devices. 

Philips has allocated a reserve of $630 million for the Economic Loss class action litigation, and the company’s CEO has expressed optimism for a resolution within 2023. The setting aside of such a reserve may indicate significant strides in settlement discussions. For context, Bayer earmarked a $650 million charge for a potential resolution of a lawsuit in August 2022, and by December 2022, announced a $698 million settlement with the State of Oregon over PCB contamination allegations. 

Should a class action settlement be negotiated, presented, and subsequently approved by the MDL Judge, it would likely expedite the proceedings and focus on the personal injury litigation. 

A major contention in the litigation revolves around the plaintiffs’ counsel seeking access to pertinent documents and communications from Exponent, Inc., a consulting firm hired by the defendants to generate reports on the chemical emissions from the foam. The defendants have filed for a protective order, asserting attorney-client privilege and protection of work-product. The plaintiffs’ leadership contests this claim, arguing that privilege has been waived, or that even if not, the need for the documents is substantial, or exceptional circumstances warrant their disclosure. The Special Discovery Master has issued a Report and Recommendation in favor of the defendants’ protective order and against the motion to compel the production of the requested documents. Objections to this Report and Recommendation have been filed, with oral arguments before Judge Conti scheduled for September 13, 2023. A favorable ruling for the plaintiffs could potentially discredit the findings of Exponent. 

On August 15, 2023, both parties submitted a Joint Notice of Updated Timeline, outlining the pertinent MDL dates and establishing an extended timeline leading to the first bellwether trials. Notable forthcoming deadlines include: 

– February 28, 2024: Conclusion of fact discovery for class certification for the Economic Loss and Medical Monitoring class actions. 

– June 3, 2024, and August 15, 2024: Plaintiffs to file motions for class certification for the Economic Loss and Medical Monitoring class actions, respectively. 

– October or November 2024: Tentative hearing dates for class certification and related Rule 702/Daubert issues for the Economic Loss class action. 

– February or March 2025: Tentative 

hearing dates for Rule 702/Daubert motions on class certification experts for the Medical Monitoring class action. 

While Judge Conti has yet to determine discovery, Daubert deadlines, or an initial bellwether trial schedule, various deadlines have been set for the amendment of the Master Personal Injury complaint and individual Short-Form Complaints. 

Legal Update 10.20.23: CPAP Development 

Special Master Thomas Vanaskie has delivered detailed and discerning Reports and Recommendations on critical dismissal motions regarding the master personal injury complaint and the medical monitoring class action complaint filed by the Philips Defendants. 

Most of the Defendants’ arguments were not upheld, allowing the majority of the claims within the master personal injury and medical monitoring complaints to proceed. It is expected that both parties will file objections to the aspects of the Recommendations with which they disagree, and it will be the responsibility of MDL Judge Conti to decide on the acceptance or rejection of Special Master Vanaskie’s recommendations, either in whole or in part. 

Despite the perception of slow progress, the current pacing could benefit the Plaintiffs’ Leadership, affording them the opportunity to bolster their scientific evidence and consult further with experts to refine the focus of the diseases they will pursue. Daubert motions, hearings, and the prospect of bellwether trials are projected for late 2024 into the first quarter of 2025. 

Navigating the Complexities of Baby NEC Multidistrict Litigation

Navigating the Baby NEC Mass Tort Litigation Landscape 

  • Overview of the Baby NEC Multidistrict Litigation 
  • Judge Pallmeyer’s Pivotal Decisions in NEC MDL 
  • The Science Behind Baby NEC Claims 
  • Anticipating the Bellwether Trials in Baby NEC Litigation 
  • State Law Applications and Their Impact on NEC Cases 
  • Corporate Ethics and Its Influence in Baby NEC Litigation 
  • Procedural Milestones and Their Impact on the Litigation Timeline 
  • The Complexities of Document Management in Mass Tort Litigation 

The multidistrict litigation (MDL) encompassing claims related to baby necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is evolving with critical judicial activities that could establish important legal precedents for analogous litigations in the future. 

Key Developments in the NEC MDL Proceedings 

The MDL, which centralizes approximately 200 baby NEC claims, is advancing towards significant judicial milestones. The presiding judge, Honorable Judge Pallmeyer, has been instrumental in delineating the discovery and motions schedule, which is vital for dictating the pace of the ongoing litigation. 

Notably, the judicial proceedings such as the Science Day and the selection of bellwether trials are set to significantly shape the trajectory of the MDL. These selections will play a crucial role in informing settlement discussions and subsequent trial strategies. 

The application of disparate state laws to individual claims further underscores the complexity and heterogeneity inherent in these cases. Additionally, corporate behavior investigations into prominent companies like Abbott and Mead Johnson add an extra layer of intricacy and ethical considerations to the legal challenges presented. 

Current Status and Anticipated Progression 

As of mid-August 2023, the MDL’s progression reflects the invested interest of the parties involved in resolving these multifaceted disputes. Although the MDL is at an early stage, Judge Pallmeyer’s balanced approach to adopting a discovery and motions schedule from proposals by both plaintiffs and defendants, while leaving essential deadlines open, marks a significant step in the litigation process. 

The confidential Science Day held on May 3 provided a platform for discussing general causation issues, emphasizing the scientific underpinnings essential to the claims’ success. 

Further decisions on the procedural timelines are expected to emerge from the status conference scheduled for September 8, 2023. These rulings will likely affect the timing of bellwether trials, tentatively set for late 2024 or early 2025. 

The intricate analysis required by Judge Pallmeyer in her rulings reflects a nuanced approach to the legal standards and the individuality of claims under various state laws, highlighting the depth of the litigation. 

Implications of External Corporate Investigations 

While the FTC’s investigation into the defendant companies for potential collusion and misconduct is separate from the NEC litigation, the outcome could potentially sway juror opinions and influence the legal strategies of the parties involved. 

Outlook for Settlement and Trial Proceedings 

With the first bellwether trials not expected until at least late 2025, the MDL is indicative of a protracted legal engagement, with all parties bracing for an extended period of litigation. The extension of bellwether trial selections and the substantial volume of document production by the defendants point to the ongoing challenges in managing large-scale litigations such as this. 


The baby NEC MDL exemplifies the intricate dynamics of mass torts, with the judiciary’s discretionary powers playing a critical role. Each procedural advancement brings the legal fraternity closer to discerning the full implications for all stakeholders. 

Paraquat Litigation Progresses Towards Daubert Hearing and Trial Set for October

Paraquat Litigation Advances: Daubert Hearing and October Trial Insight

The litigation process involving the herbicide Paraquat advances as key procedural hearings are scheduled. Notably, the legal teams involved have concluded their detailed briefings on two significant motions—the Daubert motion and the motion for partial summary judgment. A Daubert hearing, a critical juncture in the proceedings, is slated to commence on August 21, 2023, where expert testimonies will be pivotal. 

Key Points: 

  •  Daubert Hearing and Trial Dates Set: A crucial Daubert hearing for the Paraquat litigation is scheduled to begin on August 21, 2023, with the outcome expected to significantly affect the first bellwether MDL trial due on October 16, 2023. Furthermore, a California state court trial has been rescheduled to January 8, 2024, with pre-trial hearings set for October 10, 2023.  
  • Expert Witness Testimonies: The court has ordered plaintiffs’ expert Dr. Martin Wells to testify and face both direct and cross-examination in the upcoming Daubert hearing, as per Judge Rosenstengl’s July 28th order, which also allows for post-hearing briefs by September 8th. 
  • Precedent Settlement: Syngenta and Chevron, in 2021, settled numerous cases in Illinois and 16 cases in California for $187.5 million, which might indicate the potential strength of the plaintiffs’ cases and could influence future litigation outcomes.  
  • Public Disclosure of Settlement: Details of the previous settlement were made public through Syngenta’s 2021 Annual Report, revealing a strategic move to settle high-profile cases, thereby limiting negative publicity and further large-scale litigations.  
  • Ongoing Litigation Volume: The litigation encompasses a significant number of cases, with 4,384 active cases in the MDL, 298 in California state courts, and additional actions in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Washington, and Delaware as of July 20, 2023. 

A court filing by the defense on June 9th, the only one not sealed, delineates a strategic stance suggesting that the scientific evidence at hand fails to substantiate the expert causation theories proposed by the plaintiffs. 

Presiding Judge Rosenstengl issued a mandate on July 28th requiring the plaintiffs’ expert witness, Dr. Martin Wells, to provide testimony and undergo examination by the legal representatives of both parties. Additionally, the order permits the submission of post-hearing briefs by both sides, to be filed by September 8th at the latest. 

The rulings on these motions will have a direct influence on the inaugural bellwether trial of the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), which is on the court’s docket for October 16, 2023. 

The first state court trial in California, initially scheduled for September 6th, has been postponed to January 8, 2024, in Contra Costa County. Pre-trial hearings concerning Sargon motions—California’s equivalent to Daubert hearings—and motions for summary judgment are expected to proceed on October 10, 2023. Syngenta’s Annual Report also indicates a concurrent trial scheduled in a Florida state court for January 8, 2024. 

Notably, Syngenta and Chevron, in a strategic move during 2021, settled several Illinois state court cases, including 16 in California, for a total of $187.5 million. This decision, seemingly a preemptive measure, may have been influenced by the desire to limit the exposure of these cases to public scrutiny and to curtail further litigations led by Stephen Tillery, especially in high-profile jury trials in St. Clair County and across Illinois. Based on the disclosed settlement figures by Syngenta, the financial compensation to each plaintiff appears to be substantial, especially if the number of claimants was limited. 

This previous settlement bears significant relevance as plaintiffs advance towards the forthcoming trials in October and January. 

From Syngenta’s 2021 Annual Report: 

“Settlement: On June 1, 2021, Syngenta, along with a co-defendant, reached an agreement to settle with claimants represented by the leading counsel in the Hoffmann cases scheduled for trial in St. Clair County, Illinois, and in a majority of the cases pending in California state courts at that time. The settlement, which was contingent upon the dismissal of all active cases and a comprehensive release from the plaintiffs, involved a payment of $187.5 million by Syngenta. The company allocated its share to the Qualified Settlement Escrow Fund on July 21, 2021, which allows for third-party verification and apportionment amongst the claimants. The incurred settlement expenses are reflected within ‘Other general and administrative’ costs in the financial statements.” 

As of July 20, 2023, the MDL has 4,384 active cases pending. Additionally, there are 298 active cases in various California state courts, with 244 consolidated in a Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding (JCCP). Separate actions are also underway in multiple jurisdictions including Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Washington, and Delaware.