A St. Louis County, MO judge granted a motion by Bayer-owned Monsanto for a directed verdict in a Roundup cancer trial, handing Bayer its ninth straight trial victory, with the latest one delivered before the jury heard the case, St. Louis Record reported

Plaintiff Mark McCostlin, 64, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) in 2017 and went into remission in 2019. At that time, he made the connection that he may have gotten cancer because of his decades-long exposure to Roundup brand weedkillers, which contains the active ingredient, glyphosate, a chemical compound the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer issued a group 2A “probably carcinogenic to humans” classification.

However, Judge Brian May agreed with Monsanto that the plaintiff failed to present reasonable evidence that McCostlin’s Roundup use caused NHL and granted Monsanto’s request for a directed verdict, which is when the court rules that there is no need for the case to go to the jury. 

Monsanto asserted that McCostlin’s case, which is not one of the approximately 125,000 Roundup claims that were consolidated in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), was time-barred because his lawsuit was not filed within two years of his NHL diagnosis. An attorney representing McCostlin, a Kansas resident, indicated that an appeal of the directed verdict would be filed. 

The pretrial ruling by the Judge, the attorney said, was unfortunate because it prevented jurors from seeing and hearing all the evidence in McCostlin’s case.

Monsanto has reached settlement agreements in approximately 95,000 Roundup lawsuit claims in the MDL, paying $11 billion. The settlement resolved approximately 75 to 80 percent of all Roundup claims. Approximately 30,000 Roundup lawsuits are still pending, with most of those filed in state courts. 

After losing the first three trials and having been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to four plaintiffs in those cases, Bayer seems to have gained momentum in Roundup litigation. However, some legal experts say Bayer’s recent trial success is attributable to only defending itself in weaker cases. Stronger plaintiff cases are expected in November when new Roundup trials get underway in Philadelphia. 

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