BREAKING: Monsanto Wins Directed Verdict In Latest Missouri Roundup Herbicide Trial

Posted by David Siegel on Sep 28, 2023 2:53:14 PM

Monsanto D openings

CVN screenshot of defense attorney James Bennett delivering his opening statement 

Clayton, MO - A Missouri state court judge granted a directed verdict in favor of agrochemical giant Monsanto on Thursday in a trial over cancer risks supposedly associated with their Roundup product, handing the company another consecutive trial court victory in litigation over the popular herbicide.

Judge Brian May informed the jury of his decision in a trial that began September 13th and was headed for closing arguments sometime next week. The case involved claims from plaintiff Mark McCostlin who alleges he developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2017 at the age of 58 due to spraying Roundup in his yard.

The full trial up to that point was webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network, which has similarly covered most of the Roundup trials in the St. Louis area, where Monsanto previously had its US headquarters.

Bayer-owned Monsanto issued a statement after Judge May announced his decision, noting the outcome marks the ninth consecutive trial win in Roundup-related lawsuits, a sharp reversal after initial verdicts in California of $80 million, $289 million and $2 billion in favor of plaintiffs.

“These outcomes are consistent with the extensive body of scientific research on glyphosate-based herbicides over four decades, as well as the assessments of the EPA and other leading health regulators worldwide which support the conclusion that Roundup is not carcinogenic and can be used safely,” the company's statement read.

Attorney Majed Nachawati of the Nachawati Law Group, who represents McCostlin, said he would appeal Judge May’s decision.

“It’s unfortunate that pretrial rulings prevented jurors in this case from seeing and hearing all of the evidence,” Nachawati told CVN. “We are committed to this cause and will continue the fight on behalf of the many cancer victims who deserve justice.”

Plaintiffs allege Monsanto knew of Roundup's supposed cancer risks for years but withheld that information from the public to protect the sales of a popular brand, but Monsanto maintains Roundup is safe, and that lawsuits over the weed killer are based on fundamentally flawed science and driven by attorneys seeking large monetary awards. 

With thousands of Roundup-related lawsuits still pending nationwide in state and federal court, plaintiff attorneys continue to hope they can turn the tide as Monsanto repeatedly prevails at trial in jurisdictions throughout the United States.

Another Roundup trial begins next week in the neighboring City of St. Louis, a venue seen as potentially more plaintiff-friendly than the comparatively conservative Clayton, Missouri in St. Louis County. That upcoming trial will also be webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by CVN.

Jury selection is also underway at what will be the first Roundup trial to date in San Diego, California, and trials are scheduled to begin in coming weeks in Philadelphia as well.

The trial before Judge May is captioned Barbara Allegrezza, et al. v. Monsanto Company, case number 19SL-CC03421 in Missouri’s 21st Judicial Circuit.

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Topics: Missouri