In a six-page order focusing on “the most glaring flaws,” U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of San Francisco today denied preliminary approval to a proposed class action settlement of all future claims against Monsanto by injured people charging that Roundup caused their cancer – including claims by people who have no injury or cancer now and may not have any for decades. Bailey Glasser had filed an amici curiae (“friend of the court”) brief and a supplemental brief opposing the proposed settlement on behalf of 93 law firms, 167 attorneys, and National Trial Lawyers (NTL) President Lisa Blue, individually and on behalf of the NTL’s 14,000 members.
“This is an enormous victory for everyone exposed to Roundup, the public interest, and our system of justice,” said Arthur H. Bryant of Bailey Glasser’s office in Oakland, CA, the lead author of the briefs and former Chairman of Public Justice. “People injured by Roundup in the future will still have their right to a day in court and Monsanto can still be held fully accountable. We are delighted that the court ruled, as we and numerous others urged, that the proposed settlement was legally defective on numerous grounds.”
Bailey Glasser’s Benjamin L. Bailey in Charleston, WV, and Joshua I. Hammack in Washington, DC, were co-authors of the briefs.
The order says, “In sum, the settlement proposed by these attorneys would accomplish a lot for Monsanto. It would substantially diminish the company’s settlement exposure and litigation exposure at the back end, eliminating punitive damages and potentially increasing its chances of winning trials on compensatory damages. It would accomplish far less for the Roundup users who have not been diagnosed with (non-Hodgkins lymphoma) NHL—and not nearly as much as the attorneys pushing this deal contend.”
To see the order, click here.