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Court denies Mansanto's motion for summary judgment

Hawaiians might have heard about the potential dangers of Roundup and its alleged link to cancer. Recently, a California court denied Monsanto's motion for summary judgment against three plaintiffs who are suing based on the company's failure to warn about the dangers of glyphosate.

Monsanto filed its motion for summary judgment, which is a motion that asks the court to dismiss the plaintiffs' lawsuit, on four grounds. The company first argued that the plaintiffs' arguments under state law were expressly preempted by federal law. It then argued that the claims were made under implied preemption. Monsanto also argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the plaintiffs' failure-to-warn claims and that there wasn't enough evidence to support an award for punitive damages.

The court found that federal law did not expressly or implicitly preempt the state law claims because states are allowed to have laws concerning their own labeling requirements and that California's law requiring warnings for reasonably foreseeable risks was allowed despite the federal law's narrower requirements. It also found that the claims were not implicitly preempted. The court found that Monsanto's argument that there wasn't enough evidence to support the failure-to-warn claims was without basis and pointed to a 2003 study that linked glyphosate to cancer.

Finally, the court ruled against the summary judgment motion for punitive damages, pointing out that a jury could find that Monsanto appeared to be more concerned about its sales rather than whether Roundup might cause people to develop cancer. People who have suffered serious injuries or illnesses after they used products in the intended manner might have valid grounds to file claims against the manufacturers. Companies have a duty to warn customers of the foreseeable risks associated with their products. People might benefit from consulting with experienced personal injury attorneys who practice in the area of products liability claims.

Source: United States District Court, "PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 101: ORDER RE MONSANTO'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON NON-CAUSATION GROUNDS," March 7, 2019.

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