Bayer AG, the Monsanto Corporation’s owner, has asked a U.S. appeals court to reverse a 2019 ruling that a Pennsylvania man’s Roundup cancer lawsuit was not preempted by a federal labeling law that governs Roundup weedkiller, Law360 said.
Plaintiff David Schaffner, Jr. alleges that he developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a result of prolonged exposure to glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller products.
Monsanto filed an appeal on Feb. 8 arguing that a district court in Pittsburgh misinterpreted the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act or FIFRA. FIFRA expressly preempts any state law that requires a label that is different from federal requirements, and due to the fact that the EPA "has repeatedly determined that glyphosate does not cause cancer and that no cancer warning is required under FIFRA," Monsanto said, "a state-law requirement to provide such a warning is both 'in addition to' and 'different from' federal requirements."
Monsanto and Schaffner, Jr. had reached a settlement, with the former agreeing to pay the latter to drop all claims except those related to failure to warn. Despite the settlement, Monsanto maintained the right to appeal the decision.
In its brief to the 3rd Circuit, Monsanto stated that the FDA “has determined that such a warning would be false and make a pesticide bearing it violate FIFRA, exposing the registrant to civil and criminal penalties. The alleged state-law requirement is thus also 'different from' requirements under FIFRA," per Law360.
The first Roundup consumer cancer lawsuits were held in 2018 and 2019. Juries in those first three trials awarded each plaintiff multi-million-dollar awards despite Monsanto/Bayer’s FIFRA defense. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review two of those three plaintiff verdicts.
Bayer has won at trial in the last six Roundup cases. Last month, it was granted a review of a Georgia man’s cancer claim by the full panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.