A Roundup lawsuit plaintiff has requested an expedited trial, citing his limited life-expectancy.
According to court documents, Emmanuel Richard Giglio originally filed suit against Monsanto in 2015. He alleges that exposure to the company’s popular Roundup weed killer caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Giglio’s lawsuit is pending in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, where a multidistrict litigation has been established for federally-filed Roundup cancer claims. (Case 3:16-md-02741-VC)
According to his November 16th Motion for Trial Preference, Giglio’s lymphoma has progressed rapidly in multiple areas. His cancer his terminal, raising concern that the 66-year-old California man could die before the multidistrict litigation completes bellwether trials.
“Mr. Giglio was told by his treating oncologist that he now has less than six months to live due to the advanced, uncontrolled spread of his cancer – Diffuse Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the filing states. “Unfortunately, his treatment options are severely limited, and as such, Mr. Giglio respectfully petitions this court for an expedited trial date so that he can have his day in court.”
Although his surviving family members could continue to pursue the case if Giglio dies, the motion notes that recoverable damages would be “substantially” reduced.
Unfortunately, Bayer – which recently required – has decided to fight the dying man’s request.
In a brief filed with the Court on November 30th, the company argued that Giglio’s terminal condition should only cause his deposition to be rescheduled.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.
In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. Among other things, the agency’s independent review tied glyphosate exposure to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and its various subtypes.
Monsanto not only disputes those findings, it’s waged an aggressive campaign to discredit the IARC review.
Nevertheless, plaintiffs have filed over 9,000 Roundup lawsuits in U.S. courts that seek compensation for cancer allegedly caused by glyphosate.
Bayer lost the nation’s first Roundup cancer trial in August, when a San Francisco Superior Court jury unanimously awarded Dwayne Johnson $289 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The trial judge upheld the jury’s decision in October, but did slash punitive damages, bringing the total award to $78 million. Although the former groundskeeper agreed to accept the reduced verdict, Bayer is appealing.
Johnson, the father of two young boys, also suffers from terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“Some people think I’m a rich man, they speak to me as if I’ve been paid already, which is far from reality. The truth is the appeals could go on well past my life expectancy,” he told Time earlier this month.
“We can’t really celebrate or make plans or go on vacation because we don’t have that money. I get a social security check now every month. It doesn’t even cover the cost of the rent. People are trying to help me out, but I’m basically broke.”
The federal Roundup litigation will convene a series of bellwether trials next year, with the first scheduled to begin in February.
Verdicts in those cases could provide insight into how other juries might rule in similar Roundup lawsuits.