On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria rejected a proposed settlement that would have limited the ability of cancer victims exposed to Bayer AG’s Monsanto Roundup weed killer to pursue lawsuits for relief.
Fears Nachawati co-founder Majed Nachawati praised the ruling, saying the judge’s decision sent an important message to Bayer AG and a group of plaintiffs’ lawyers who had crafted a settlement that at best was flawed and unfair.
“Because of today’s order from Judge Chhabria, justice for present and future cancer victims prevailed. We applaud Judge Chhabria for soundly rejecting Bayer, Monsanto and [plaintiffs’ lawyer] Cabraser’s Faustian bargain,” Majed said. “The result of this monumental decision is that thousands of current and future cancer victims will be able to proceed to trial individually and be judged by a jury of fellow Americans based on the facts and evidence. Bayer and Monsanto will now face massive exposure for placing profits over the safety of American citizens. We look forward to trial on behalf of each and every one of the cancer victims we represent.”
Fears Nachawati represents more than 4,000 individuals who have developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma after exposure to the glyphosate-based herbicide. The firm has been a vocal critic of the proposed settlement, and recently held a news conference laying out the many ways in which it hurt cancer victims.
In his ruling, Judge Chhabria criticized the settlement framework, which would have allowed Monsanto to continue selling Roundup without a warning label while at the same time limiting the ability of cancer victims from filing future lawsuits. Cancer victims would also not be able to seek punitive damages in lawsuits going forward. Judge Chhabria’s called the proposal “clearly unreasonable,” also criticizing Bayer’s claims it could not craft a warning label for Roundup.
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