[Updated August 2019] Over 18,400 cancer victims have filed lawsuits against Monsanto and its parent, Bayer AG, the makers of the popular weed killer Roundup. Several countries have banned Roundup after finding links between the product’s active ingredient, glyphosate, and certain types of cancer.
California has declared glyphosate a possible carcinogen. Many cities across the nation no longer use the chemical on parks and roadways. And Costco announced they won’t even sell glyphosate based herbicides anymore. Yet one hundred thousand pounds of Roundup are used each year in New Jersey.
The EPA recently reapproved glyphosate and said it is safe for humans when used as directed. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a human carcinogen. In fact, California has already labeled the herbicide as a possible carcinogen as have many countries and the World Health Organization. So too have physicians and scientists. Many professionals believe that glyphosate can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma.
There have been so many Roundup cancer lawsuits filed that the federal court has consolidated them into a single “multidistrict litigation” action. Not a class action but an “MDL.” That designation helps courts manage the cases spread across the United States. Already three of the cases have been sent to trial and all resulted in big wins for cancer patients.
Those victories were bittersweet. One victim, is not expected to see any money because he is suffering from late stage 4 cancer and Monsanto refuses to pay while it appeals the jury verdict.
That case was heard last year in a California state court. The jury awarded a former school groundskeeper, DeWayne “Lee” Johnson, almost $300 million. The judge later reduced the award to $78 million. No surprise, the company won’t even pay the reduced amount. It has instead appealed and continues to claim its innocence.
More recently, two more Roundup cancer trials were held in California. Once again, jurors found that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide most likely caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury awarded $80 million in one case and a whopping $2.055 billion in the other.
The first lawsuit involved a professional groundskeeper who sprayed hundreds of gallons of weed killer each year as part of his landscaping duties. In the second case, the cancer victim was a homeowner who used Roundup around his property to control weeds. The third case involved a husband and wife, both of whom developed aggressive cases of non Hodgkins lymphoma.
Monsanto and New Jersey Roundup Cancer Lawsuits
New Jersey bills itself as the Garden State, although it is no longer one of America’s top 10 agricultural states. Still, the state sees 100,000 pounds of toxic Roundup used each year. There are 720,000 acres in New Jersey devoted to farming including thousands of acres used for corn, eggplants, tomatoes and peaches.
New Jersey is also home to hundreds of parks and golf course along with thousands of miles of roadway. All are big users of industrial strength weed killers. And the biggest of those weed killers? Roundup, of course. This is bad news for cancer victims. And that is why if you or a loved one are suffering from cancer, you need someone who understands New Jersey Roundup cancer lawsuits
Medical experts have found a link between Roundup and certain types of cancer including non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma. Other experts believe there is a link between the popular weed killer and many other types of disease including:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Childhood brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
Many New Jersey Roundup Lawsuits Already Filed
There are thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto and other makers of glyphosate based weed killers already filed including several New Jersey Roundup cancer lawsuits. You often don’t hear much about them, however, because the cases are getting handled by a judge in California, location of the federal court assigned to oversee these cases. Many others are being consolidated into St. Louis.
New Jersey Cancer Lawsuits Must Be Filed Within 2 Years
New Jersey law gives cancer victims just two years to file a claim for their injuries. The law says,
“Every action at law for an injury to the person caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of any person within this State shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of any such action shall have accrued; except that an action by or on behalf of a minor that has accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth shall be commenced prior to the minor’s 13th birthday.”
If the cancer patient has already died, the same two year period applies in New Jersey.
Companies like Monsanto generally argue that the time period starts the day of the cancer diagnosis or death. New Jersey courts are often more liberal, however, and extend that time to when the patient learned – or should have learned – that his or her cancer might be linked to Roundup.
Even then, we expect Monsanto will argue that the patient should have known since at least 2015, the year when international cancer experts identified glyphosate as a possible human carcinogen.
We apologize for getting so technical. The takeaway is that New Jersey Roundup cancer lawsuits are anything but easy. They required very specialized knowledge and often a cadre of expert witnesses and doctors to make the link between the cancer and a prior use of Roundup weed killer.
There are also procedural hurdles if the cancer was diagnosed more than two years ago.
What does this mean to someone considering filing a New Jersey Roundup cancer lawsuit? The answer is easy! Don’t delay and don’t rely on the local personal injury lawyer to have the proper experience and scientific knowledge to bring a defective products claim.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered from New Jersey Roundup Cancer Lawsuit?
New Jersey is one of several states that caps damage awards. That is a shame because such caps punish the victims of poor corporate behavior instead of the giant agri-businesses that cause the harm.
Under New Jersey law, damages are designed to compensate victims for their injuries and losses. In rare circumstances, juries can also award punitive damages. More on that below.
New Jersey law allows cancer victims to recover a wide variety of damages including:
- Medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance
- Future anticipated medical expenses
- Costs of living with a disability
- Lost income and wages
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering (including emotional distress)
- Lost consortium
Thankfully, New Jersey has not imposed caps on damages for pain and suffering.
In instructing juries on how to calculate pain and suffering damages, judges in New Jersey tell jurors to consider:
- The extent to which the cancer patient’s daily routine be limited or altered
- How much the injury impacts relationships (work or home)
- Does the cancer and any attendant pain affect sleep or other lifestyle factors?
- To what extent will the injury impact the party in the long term?
- To what extent will the treatment for the cancer (chemo, radiation) impact the party in the long term?
Although New Jersey doesn’t cap non-punitive damages, the legislature has enacted a “Comparative Fault Rule.” That rule says that separately from determining the damages suffered by a cancer victim, the jury must also determine the relative faults of the party. If the cancer victim’s relative fault is 50% or more, she gets nothing. If it is some number lower than 50%, then the damage award gets reduced by that percentage.
Let’s look at an example.
New Jersey cancer patient says she contracted myeloma after working at a nursery and spraying shrubs with Roundup to kill weeds. A jury finds her damages to be $1 million but says she is 10% at fault for not following the label instructions. Monsanto is found to be 90% at fault.
The court would reduce the award by 10% of $1,000,000 thus reducing the award to $900,000. If she were to be 60% at fault, she would receive nothing.
For punitive damages, New Jersey law caps punitive damages at five (5) times the award of compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater. New Jersey punitive damages can only be awarded “if plaintiff proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the harm suffered was the result of defendant’s acts or omissions, and such acts or omissions were actuated by actual malice or accompanied by a wanton and willful disregard of persons who foreseeably might be harmed by those acts or omissions.”
Once again, it is important that people intending on filing New Jersey Roundup cancer lawsuits seek a qualified and experienced lawyer. These cases certainly aren’t easy!
Seeking New Jersey Cancer Victims Exposed to Roundup
Mahany Law is a leading national law firm. Together with our New Jersey partners, we have helped people in 39 states including New Jersey. In fact, Brian Mahany got his start just out of law school in 1983 as a lawyer in Woodbridge, New Jersey and later in Red Bank.
Taking on a multi-billion corporation such as Bayer Monsanto is no easy undertaking. It certainly isn’t something for the average personal injury lawyer. Like the Biblical tale of David taking on Goliath, we have fought many huge multinational corporations and are ready to help you.
The airwaves are already flooded with late TV ads seeking cancer victims exposed to Roundup. Look at Google and you will see that lawyers are lined up with pay per click ads too. These lawyers focus on VOLUME. Their goal is to sign up hundreds or thousands of Roundup cases.
Despite the existence of a Multi District Litigation order, Roundup cancer cases are NOT treated as class actions, Each case is unique. Your damages are also unique. That means it is important to find a lawyer willing to take the time to understand your case, your needs, how cancer has affected your life or that of a loved one.
Please allow us that opportunity. We understand how a cancer diagnosis can change everything. We promise to not only determine whether or not you have a case but to stick with you throughout that case.
Please remember that if a loved one has recently passed and was a frequent user of Roundup, the estate may also have a claim.
For more information, see our New Jersey Cancer Victim FAQs below, visit our Roundup Cancer Victim Claims Center and our Roundup Resources pages as well as our short three minute video (see the link below).
Roundup Cancer Victim Video
Do I qualify for a New Jersey Roundup cancer lawsuit?
Any person exposed to Roundup in New Jersey, either through home or occupational use, and who has later been diagnosed with certain forms of leukemia or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, may qualify to make a claim by filing a filing Round lawsuit. If a family member has passed away but otherwise qualifies, his or her estate can bring the claim.
Claims in New Jersey aren’t limited to those who used Roundup professionally. Obviously, however, the more the person used the product, the easier it is for the medical experts to tie exposure to cancer. [If you used Roundup just once in your life, we probably can’t help you.]
The next wave of New Jersey Roundup cancer lawsuits will likely center on consumers exposed to roundup glyphosate found in most fruit and vegetables today, even in milk. And also, residents who live near parks or golf courses sprayed with Roundup. Unfortunately, we are not yet able to accept these secondary exposure cases.
Are There Costs Associated with Bringing New Jersey Roundup Cancer Lawsuits?
Yes, the costs of prosecuting a defective or dangerous products are often huge. Expert witness fees, medical record fees and the like. But don’t worry! If we take your case, you owe us nothing unless we win and collect. If you are simply seeking a consultation to determine if you have a case, those are offered without cost or obligation. And all consultations are confidential.
We will always listen to your circumstances and give you our analysis of your case without any cost or further obligation.
Can’t I Just Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You can hire anyone you want. But think for a second, would you hire an ophthalmologist to perform open heart surgery? Both are doctors! Your answer, of course, is probably NO! Products cases like claims involving Roundup and cancer are expensive and difficult to bring. And New Jersey Roundup lawsuits are no exception.
If a motorist runs a red light and hits you while crossing the street, the causation is pretty obvious. Whether or not the driver is at fault might sometimes be tricky but proving how you were injured isn’t. In a Roundup case, the lawyer must convince a jury that exposure you may have had years ago is the likely cause of your cancer.
Typically, car crash cases and other personal injuries settle for a multiple of three times the medical bills and lost wages. That may work well when someone makes a complete recovery. It doesn’t work in cancer cases where there might not be a quick recovery or where there is a huge danger of the cancer coming back from remission. One more reason to find someone who is focused on defective product cases.
The bottom line… We don’t handle car accident cases and don’t think most personal injury lawyers should handle a product liability case.
Who in New Jersey Are Most At-Risk from Roundup Related Cancer?
Bringing a New Jersey Roundup cancer lawsuit has its own unique challenges. Depending on where you live and work in New Jersey, you may be subject to exposure to other suspected or actual carcinogens. (Folks that live in Linden or Newark, you know what I mean.) That is one of the reasons we are cautious about accepting secondary exposure cases.
There is good medical evidence, however, to accept cases from the following groups of people in New Jersey (assuming of course, they used a glyphosate based herbicide such as Roundup):
- Golf course groundskeepers
- School groundskeepers
- Highway and parks crews
- Nursery operators
- Homeowners who use Roundup on a regular basis around their home
Why Mahany Law?
Let’s be up front. We are not general practitioners. That means we can’t help you if you want a divorce, get arrested for drunk driving or need a will. Like many national law firms, we concentrate in very niche areas of law. We develop the scientific knowledge to handle these cases and frequently partner with the best lawyers in the country to make sure we have the right combination of subject matter mastery and local “boots on the ground” that know the ins and out of a specific county.
That is something most local lawyers can’t do. There are just not enough Roundup cases in Union County (for example) to base one’s entire practice on Roundup cases. We bridge that gap and aren’t looking to be the biggest. Instead, we want to give the best to our clients.**
I was born in Union County and spent my earliest years in the blue collar town of Cranford. After that I lived in Somerset County and then had the privilege of spending many of my years on the family dairy farm in Hunterdon County. New Jersey was a much different state then but farms can still be found in many areas of the state and that is one of the reasons we have such an interest in Roundup case.
New Jersey farmers and homeowners have enough cancer risks to worry about. Many we can’t prevent but we believe that Monsanto knew for years that its glyphosate weed killers were dangerous yet did nothing to warn users.
Our practice has become national today but we still have a fondness for the Garden State despite some of its shortcomings. New Jersey has one of the highest cancer rates in the nation. (It is in the top five states.) We hope that by bringing these cases and concentrating on New Jersey, we can make the state a bit safer.
It may be too late for some but at least we can make it safer for future generations. And that means going after the polluters and makers of dangerous products.
I am Brian Mahany, principal of Mahany Law, and we want to be your New Jersey Roundup cancer lawyers.
Need more information? See the links page above or contact us online, by email or by phone at 414-704-6731.
** Just one day after posting, I received a mailer from one of the largest litigation support companies. They were soliciting law firms with Roundup cases. This is what their mailer says:
After the latest $2 billion verdict against Monsanto for damages allegedly caused by its Roundup®pesticide, firms are working hard to acquire more cases. [XXXXX] can help your firm manage your Roundup® cases so you can focus on maximizing the number of clients you can represent.
In other words, “Let us [non-lawyers] manage your case so you Mr. Lawyer can focus maximizing the number of clients you get.” That advice is crazy but unfortunately represents the mindset of many of the defective product law firms in the marketplace. Quantity over quality.
Another ad claimed that if we spent $1 million on Facebook advertising, we could expect 250 new Roundup calls per day. Although we are always looking for our next case, we certainly aren’t hoping to take in 250 new cases per day! Any lawyer that advertises that much should cause you concern. Don’t be a number!
It’s depressing and bad for clients.