Attorney Brent Wisner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman recently led his clients Alva and Alberta Pilliod to a historic $2 billion court victory over Monsanto regarding the weed killer Roundup.
With thousands of similar lawsuits to follow, all claiming that Roundup’s key ingredient, glyphosate, is carcinogenic and caused their cancer, the possibility of a global Monsanto settlement looms.
“We don’t know actually if they’re going to settle yet, we haven’t reached any settlement or anything that I’m aware of, and I think more importantly it depends on the terms,” Wisner said in an interview with the Northern California Record. “If they want to settle every case for an average of $100,000 a case, the conversation doesn’t even get started. But if they want to pay each person on average a million or so, I think that’s a different conversation.”
In regards to what could eventually force a global settlement from Monsanto, Wisner noted the consecutive plaintiff wins as well as the high damages awarded and said, “We’ve demonstrated now repeatedly that they will not win in trial and that they will lose very big. If they’re going to lose in trial then they have to do something to avoid trial – and the only logical thing to avoid trial is to settle.
“While I can’t say that every single verdict is going to be $2 billion or more, I’m pretty confident they’re going to be very high verdicts because the evidence we have and the documents we have really show rampant corporate malfeasance and I think every single jury has unanimously seen that,” Wisner continued.
Bayer, which purchased Monsanto last year, has not yet discussed any plans to globally settle with plaintiffs and their attorneys and continues to fight behind the message that their product is safe and EPA approved.
The German pharmaceutical company has lost the three cases of its kind so far, two at the state level and one at the federal level. The company has filed post-trial motions to reverse the verdicts and appealed the damages awarded in all three cases. More than 13,000 people have now filed suit against Monsanto.