A group of Roundup users asked the Delaware District Court to give preliminary approval to a $45 million settlement and certify a nationwide class of consumers in a lawsuit against Monsanto Co., the company which produces Roundup. The plaintiffs lawsuit alleged that Monsanto committed fraud by not alerting consumers on the product that it is linked to cancer.
The plaintiffs told the court that the settlement is fair and that it meets the standards for approval. It addresses complaints brought in both federal and state courts around the country. Under the settlement, Monsanto will provide between $23 million and $45 million and members of the putative class would be able to submit a claim for around 20% of the average retail price of Roundup, or the Roundup product that they purchased, which will be between $1.00 and $33.00 per purchase, depending on the size of the product.
“This Settlement is not only fair to the Class but provides it with an outstanding result,” the memorandum said. “The compensation available to Class Members is more than two-thirds of Plaintiffs’ estimate of best-case damages, and many times more than Monsanto’s expert’s estimate of its worst-case damages (assuming liability were established). The Settlement is particularly remarkable in light of the litigation risks to Plaintiffs if these claims are not settled. It allows for robust Class Notice and permits Class Members to claim substantial monetary refunds.”
In this matter, the plaintiffs alleged that they would not have purchased Roundup if they had known of its potential carcinogenic nature, and that Monsanto should have disclosed allegations that it could cause cancer on the product and that they have suffered economic injuries. Under this settlement, if it is approved, class members will release economic loss claims but not personal injury claims. Reportedly, Monsanto denies the allegations in the plaintiffs’ complaint and further denies any liability.
In addition to asking for preliminary approval of the settlement and certification of the class, the plaintiffs asked the court to approve their class notice plan and set a fairness hearing for the settlement.
There are multiple other lawsuits against Monsanto, and its parent company Bayer, regarding allegations that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the household herbicide Roundup, causes non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. In one matter, a Northern District of California judge declined to approve a settlement for a class of future claimants alleging personal injury. Other lawsuits address whether glyphosate should be considered and labeled as a substance that is carcinogenic. Bayer announced that as a response to all of the lawsuits that it is considering removing Roundup from residential availability.