The federal judge who is overseeing tens of thousands of Roundup weedkiller personal-injury lawsuits against Monsanto and its owner, Bayer AG, recently approved a $45 million class-action settlement to resolve false advertising and failure to warn claims.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria signed off on the settlement late last month, which resolves Scott Gilmore, et al. v. Monsanto Co., a class-action lawsuit that is distinct from the approximately 100,000 Roundup cancer multidistrict litigation (MDL) claims that have been settled, plus the approximately 30,000 MDL claims that remain unresolved.
The lead plaintiff accused Monsanto of failing to warn consumers about the potential health risks associated with glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller, which is the world’s most widely-used herbicide.
In an April hearing on the settlement, Judge Chhabria expressed concerns about signing off on the deal because of the size of the settlement and the potential confusion the settlement may cause. First, Judge Chhabria stated that even the high end of the settlement offer—$45 million—may be insufficient to resolve each class member’s economic loss claims.
Judge Chhabria also said he was concerned that members may not realize they can still file for personal injury claims. A previous version of the class notice did not make it clear that consumers still have a right to sue Monsanto if they develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, allegedly caused by Roundup, in the future.
The false advertising settlement, filed in an Oregon U.S. District Court in 2019, will reimburse buyers for about 20% of the average price they paid for Roundup products. In the April hearing, Judge Chhabria estimated that each bottle of Roundup purchased would yield a $10 reimbursement.
According to CNET.com, 19 Monsanto herbicide products containing glyphosate are covered in the settlement, including Roundup Ready-to-Use Weed & Grass Killer, HDX Weed & Grass Killer Ready-to-Use and Ace Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate.
Most receipts are not required to join the class settlement.
Receipts for higher-priced glyphosate-based products will be required to receive reimbursement, and the deadline to submit a claim form is Oct. 19, 2022. A final hearing relating to the settlement will take place early next year.