San Diego Jury Hears Latest Monsanto Roundup Openings, Trials Continue in MO and PA

Posted by David Siegel on Oct 10, 2023 8:48:48 PM

Dennis PL openings

CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Scott Love delivering his opening statement in San Diego 

San Diego, CA - A California state court jury heard opening statements Monday in the latest lawsuit to go to trial over cancer risks supposedly associated with Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

Plaintiff Mike Dennis claims he developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 51 due to exposure to Roundup. His trial, along with trials underway in Missouri and Pennsylvania state courts, will give juries closely watched opportunities to consider new evidence about the popular herbicide’s makeup on the heels of multiple wins for Monsanto in recent Roundup trials.

The trials in San Diego and St. Louis are being webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network. An initial trial in Philadelphia is not being broadcast, due to Pennsylvania having one of the few total bans in the country on filming jury trials. 

In addition to being among the first Roundup trials in San Diego, the Dennis case will present jurors with new evidence supposedly showing the presence of carcinogens Roundup besides glyphosate, the ingredient that played a central role in all Roundup trials to date.

Attorney Scott Love of the Texas firm Clark Love & Hutson told jurors during his opening statement they would be the first to consider a 2022 EPA decision to withdraw a finding that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

Monsanto’s attorney Pamela Yates of Arnold & Porter pushed back on that claim in her opening statement, arguing the specific chemicals at issue in the lawsuit received EPA approval as recently as last April.

Monsanto has argued repeatedly at trial that there is no cancer risk associated with glyphosate exposure, and that studies to the contrary cited by plaintiff attorneys are based on fundamentally flawed science.

Dennis D openings

CVN screenshot of defense attorney Pamela Yates delivering her opening statement in San Diego 

In pre-Covid trials, juries in California returned initial verdicts in Roundup cases of $2 billion, $289 million and $80 million, however eight consecutive juries in recent trials sided with the company in a range of jurisdictions.

The latest win came late last month, when Monsanto obtained a defense win on a directed verdict in St. Louis County Circuit Court in a trial that was also recorded gavel-to-gavel by CVN. 

CVN’s gavel-to-gavel coverage of the San Diego and St. Louis trials will continue for the duration of the proceedings.

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Topics: California