Counsel on Both Sides in Roundup Case Create Plan to Settle Thousands of Allegations

A joint case management statement and litigation plan was filed on Thursday by attorneys for Monsanto and the plaintiffs in the consolidated Roundup case being heard in the Northern District of California. The document said there are 3,704 plaintiffs with cases still pending in the multidistrict litigation (MDL), and almost 2,000 of them are “not settled or subject to a term sheet.”

The plaintiffs generally claimed personal injury from the Roundup herbicide, although some instead claimed potential injury and have sought damages for preventative or monitoring medical care. Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, agreed to pay $10 billion to settle the cases.

The parties said, “since the August 27, 2020 case management conference, the parties have continued to engage in settlement discussions. Significant progress has been made.” The statement said master settlement agreements with some law firms have been signed and another 280 cases have been removed from the docket. About 12,000 have been removed from “overall Roundup litigation.” Monsanto has allegedly also finalized settlement agreements with other law firms.

1,750 plaintiffs in the MDL “are subject to a settlement agreement,” however, because of the high number of cases, dismissals are expected to begin being entered in the next few months. The document presented a step-by-step process to deal with the settled cases and remove said plaintiffs from the lengthy settlement list. If a plaintiff is on the list for more than a year, they will need to file an order to explain why their case should not be removed from the list or should remain an active case.

Another case management conference is set in November 2020 for the parties to discuss the settlement again and progress on the cases. The plaintiffs’ attorneys involved in the statement include: Andrus Wagstaff, P.C.; Weitz & Luxembourg, P.C.; and The Miller Firm, LLC. Monsanto Company’s representation in the issue included Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and Wilkinson Walsh LLP.