Judge rules scientific evidence shows Roundup can cause cancer

roundupA federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that plaintiffs have put forth reliable scientific evidence that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller can cause cancer. Andrus Wagstaff partner and National Trial Lawyers member Aimee Wagstaff is national co-lead counsel of that federal litigation and says she “is pleased [her] clients will have their day in court to hold Monsanto liable for their injuries.” The Honorable Vince Chhabria of the United States District Court of Northern California issued an order denying Monsanto’s requests to dismiss the case. Wagstaff says this is a huge victory nationwide for people harmed by Roundup exposure.

Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, the company which developed Roundup almost 40 years ago, with complaints that Roundup exposure caused their Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a blood borne cancer. All of those lawsuits which were filed in federal courts throughout the United States were consolidated before Judge Chhabria in In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2741). Under the federal rules, Judge Chhabria is charged with conducting all pre-trial proceedings in the combined litigation. Lead counsel for the plaintiffs in that litigation include Aimee Wagstaff, of Andrus Wagstaff, Denver, CO; Robin Greenwald of Weitz and Luxenberg of New York City, NY; and Mike Miller of the Miller Law Firm, of Alexandria, VA.

The proceedings before the Court involved the Court’s obligation under the Supreme Court case of Daubert v. Merrill to act as a gatekeeper to ensure that expert testimony offered at trial is founded upon sound scientific methodology. In an extensive written ruling, Judge Chhabria declared that plaintiffs proffered scientific testimony founded upon sound scientific principles and certain testimony that Roundup can cause Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma would be allowed to go to the jury in future trials. “Today’s ruling marks a significant victory in the fight for justice on behalf of our clients who were injured by exposure to Roundup,” said Wagstaff. “We look forward to our day in court and the opportunity to hold Monsanto accountable.”

Additional lawsuits have been filed in state court in Missouri, California, Montana, and Delaware. Those cases are following independent tracks to trial.

For additional information, please contact Aimee Wagstaff via email at aimee.wagstaff@andruswagstaff.com or via phone at 303-376-6360.

Florida Jury Awards $3.22 Million for Interrupted Cancer Treatments In Addition to Injuries Caused by Tractor Crash

In a two-week trial conducted by attorneys Brian Denney and Ed Ricci, a Palm Beach County jury awarded security guard Barry Davis $3,220,000 for damages incurred when his vehicle was struck by a tractor towing a grass mower. The verdict was based not only on Davis’s immediate injuries from the crash, but on his consequent inability to continue timely cancer treatments.

Tractor driver Dale Vannelli was hauling a large, heavy commercial grass mower called a bushhog when he hit Davis’s Ford Mustang on the driver’s side as Davis neared an intersection. Davis, who has been traveling 76 miles an hour in a 50 miles per hour zone, was airlifted to a nearby hospital, suffering a left hemopneumothorax, which required a thoracostomy; a splenic rupture, which required exploratory laparotomy and splenectomy; fractures of his left clavicle; and multiple rib, lumbar, and other injuries. He was hospitalized for 22 agonizing days of surgeries, therapy and rehabilitation.

Prior to the December 4, 2013 crash, Davis had been undergoing radiation treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma on his left cheek/jaw area, and the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. For two months after the accident, due to his extensive injuries, he could not undergo critical cancer treatments. Less than two years later, doctors found that the squamous cell carcinoma had returned to Davis’s cheek and had already metastasized to the parotid gland. This diagnosis resulted in extensive surgery to remove the tumor, massive skin grafts from his right arm to repair surgical areas, and additional chemotherapy and radiation.

Because the crash with Vannelli had adversely affected his ability to treat his cancer successfully, Davis asked Board Certified attorney Brian Denney of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley to represent him in a legal action to hold the tractor driver and his employer, South Florida Bushhog Service, Inc., accountable for the damages.

“There was no question that the tractor crash was the catalyst for a one-two punch that resulted in life-threatening injuries and unimaginable suffering for Mr. Davis,” said Denney. “When the defendants refused to accept responsibility, we were forced to take the case to court.”

Defendants maintained that Davis was solely liable for the crash because he was exceeding the speed limit, and that Davis’s recurrent cancer was not related to the interruption of treatment caused by the accident. They argued that, since Davis had a history of other superficial skin cancers, the recurrence on his left cheek would have occurred regardless of the crash. They also argued that Davis should not have been driving because he had received cancer treatments the day of the accident.

However, in the course of a two-week trial, the Searcy Denney attorneys disputed defense attorneys’ allegations with the sworn statements of a treating oncologist, who testified that the cancer recurrence was caused by the lapse in Davis’s treatments. The jury agreed.

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley is a Florida-based trial law firm with more than 40 years’ experience handling personal injury cases. The firm has been named by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” as a 2017 First Tier “Best Law Firm” in West Palm Beach for six practice areas and in Tallahassee for two practice areas.

Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. Initiates the Kindness Campaign to Improve Cancer Patients’ Quality of Life

In January 2017, the attorneys at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. – an Alabama-based law firm with over 25 years of experience in toxic tort cases – initiated the Kindness Campaign. The program was created as a small attempt to improve cancer patients’ quality of life by encouraging people to offer a gift basket to someone struggling with this devastating disease. Within the last two months, hundreds of people from all across the U.S. have joined the Kindness Campaign, which is still ongoing.

Over 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with a form of cancer every year and for the majority of them, the news is life-changing. Struggling with a malignant disease is both physically and emotionally exhausting. In addition to the distressing symptoms caused by cancer, patients also experience a series of side-effects as a result of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which are sometimes so severe that they are unable to perform common daily activities such as cleaning up their house, taking care of their children or shopping for groceries. The situation is even more tragic for people who do not benefit from a strong support system, as they have no one to help them throughout their battle. The ultimate goal of the Kindness Campaign is to provide as many cancer patients as possible with fresh food, useful items and emotional support which will hopefully alleviate some of their suffering at least temporarily.

The idea behind the program sponsored by Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. is very simple and accessible to anyone who would like to participate: a gift basket filled with fresh fruits, raw vegetables or other practical items such as skin care products, blankets or tea is personally delivered to a patient at a nearby hospital or cancer treatment center. Cooked meals are also highly encouraged, as a lot of people suffering from cancer are no longer able to prepare their own food and have no one who can help them in this respect.

As of now, over 300 participants have offered a gift basket to a cancer patient and their acts of kindness were received with genuine surprise and appreciation every time. However, most people seemed to be more impressed with the attention and support they received rather than with the present itself, which means that the Kindness Campaign’s mission of making cancer patients smile has been successfully achieved. “I decided to deliver my basket to a woman I know who does not have many family members around. She was so appreciative. I not only gave her a physical gift, but an emotional one too. Sometimes your time is the gift that is wanted most”, writers a participant in the campaign.

National Trial Lawyers member Gregory Cade is an attorney at the Environmental Litigation Group.