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MONSANTO AGREES TO SETTLE FALSE ADVERTISING CLAIMS RELATED TO ROUNDUP

A judge's gavelOn March 23, Bayer AG – on behalf of its Monsanto unit – reportedly agreed to pay $39.5 million to settle claims that it ran misleading ads for its weed killer product, Roundup. Lisa Jones is the lead plaintiff in the proposed class filed in the USDC for the Western District of Missouri.  She alleged in her  lawsuit filed in February of 2019 that Monsanto’s advertising falsely claimed that its active ingredient, glyphosate, affected an enzyme found only in plants.  The suit alleges that the chemical also attacks an enzyme found in humans that is critical to maintaining the immune system, digestion and brain function.

The proposed class seeks to include everyone in the U.S. who bought Roundup with labels stating that glyphosate targets only plants.  The claims would be subject to the applicable state statutes of limitation for false advertising or breach of warranty.  As part of the deal, Monsanto has also agreed to remove the offending label and replace it with language stating instead that glyphosate works by targeting an enzyme that is “essential for plant growth.” According to the motion filed on the 23rd, eligible class members will be able to make a claim by submitting either proof of purchase or a statement under penalty of perjury and will receive a payment of 10% of the weighted average purchase price of the products they bought.

This settlement is unrelated to the multi district litigation (MDL) pending in the Northern District of California involving thousands of plaintiffs who claim that exposure to the glyphosate in Roundup caused them to develop cancer. However, this settlement could be an indication that Monsanto is on its way to attempting to resolve all claims related to Roundup.  There have already been three trials in the MDL all of which had verdicts for the plaintiffs totaling over $200 million and a fourth that had been scheduled to start in January, 2020 has been delayed as settlement discussions have reportedly intensified.

If you or a loved one has developed Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) including its various subtypes such as lymphocytic lymphoma,  chronic lymphocytic leukemia, B-cell lymphoma, hairy cell leukemia, and others, please contact the attorneys at Lacy Katzen LLP as soon as possible.   Time may be running out to preserve your claim.

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