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Monsanto prevails after five-week trial on Roundup claim

A St. Louis County jury on May 23 delivered the latest in a string of defense wins in favor of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

The verdict came after five weeks of trial, including voir dire that began before Judge Brian May on April 19. The plaintiff, Sharlean Gordon, alleged that her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was caused by exposure to glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weedkiller.

The lead plaintiffs’ lawyer, Aimee Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff in Denver, who is also licensed in Missouri, couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

The verdict follows upon two other defense wins for Monsanto in Missouri last year on similar claims. The cases, which occurred in Jackson County last June and in St. Louis County in September, were ranked among the top defense wins of 2022, as tracked by Missouri Lawyers Media.

Monsanto has denied claims that Roundup is unsafe. In a statement, Monsanto, which is now owned by Bayer, said the case was the seventh consecutive trial around the country the company has won.

“While we have great sympathy for the plaintiff in this case, the jury has weighed the evidence from both sides in this case and concluded that Roundup is not responsible for her injuries,” the company said. “This decision is consistent with the assessments of expert regulators worldwide as well as the overwhelming evidence from four decades of scientific studies concluding that Roundup can be used safely and is not carcinogenic.”

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Defense verdict

Products liability

Venue: St. Louis County Circuit

Case Number/Date: 17SL-CC02721/May 23, 2023

Judge: Brian May

Caption: Sharlean Gordon v. Monsanto Company

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Aimee H. Wagstaff, Andrus Wagstaff, Denver, Colorado

Defendants’ Attorneys: Katherine Hacker and Mark Ouweleen, Bartlit Beck, Denver and Chicago; Christine Miller, Husch Blackwell, St. Louis

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