CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney David Wool delivering his opening statement
St. Louis, MO - A Missouri state court jury heard opening statements Tuesday in the first trial in the City of St. Louis involving supposed cancer risks from agrochemical giant Monsanto’s herbicide products, and the trial is being webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
In addition to being the first Roundup trial in the City of St. Louis, just miles from Bayer-owned Monsanto’s former U.S. headquarters, the trial is also the first focusing on a more concentrated version of weedkiller called ‘QuickPro’ - as opposed to the Roundup-brand product featured in recent trials - the last five of which ended in defense verdicts for Monsanto.
Plaintiff Nathan Evans claims he developed lymphoma, a form of cancer due to exposure to glyphosate, a chemical compound used in both Roundup and QuickPro. His attorney, David Wool of Wool Trial Law, told jurors in his opening statement that Monsanto knew glyphosate posed a cancer risk but withheld that knowledge from both the public and from regulators at the EPA.
However Philip S. Beck of Barlit Beck LLP, representing Monsanto, told jurors there is no concrete link between glyphosate exposure and cancer, and that Evans’ illness could be attributed to other causes.
CVN is providing both live and on-demand coverage of the full trial, having previously webcast another Roundup trial that recently concluded in St. Louis County with a defense verdict.
Wool detailed to jurors how QuickPro first came on the market in 2001 years after Monsanto began selling Roundup in 1974. He told jurors that QuickPro users were initially required to wear a full protective suit with gloves, though that was later reduced to wearing long sleeves and pants.
Wool also previewed internal company emails he sound would prove Monsanto withheld knowledge about a glyphosate-related cancer risk.
Beck countered to jurors that the vast majority of lymphoma cancers result from natural “cell copy errors” in the human body and not from any external factor.
CVN screenshot of defense attorney Philip Beck delivering his opening statement
He explained that use of Roundup increased sharply in the 1990’s, resulting in widespread glyphosate exposure, but that lymphoma rates remained flat.
Regarding allegations involving Monsanto’s supposed internal knowledge about glyphosate risks, Beck accused the plaintiff of selectively using portions of certain emails to paint an incomplete picture. Beck previewed testimony from the author of one of the key documents that he said would offer jurors a more accurate understanding.
The full trial is taking place before Judge Michael Mullen and is expected to take weeks to complete. CVN’s gavel-to-gavel coverage will continue for the duration of the proceedings.
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