US District Judge Vince Chhabria appointed Robin Greenwald of Weitz & Luxenberg, PC, Michael Miller of The Miller Firm, LLC, and Aimee Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff, PC as Plaintiffs’ CoLead Counsel of Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, Case 3:16-md-02741-VC.
Pretrial Order No. 2, issued Nov. 17, also named them as chairs of the Executive Committee to coordinate and oversee the activities of the MDL. The court further named Michael Baum, Baum Hedlund Aristei and Goldman, Hunter Lundy, Lundy Lundy Soileau & South, and Yvonne Flaherty, Lockridge Grindal Nauen as Executive Committee members.
The court appointed Lori Andrus, Andrus Anderson, LLP and Mark Burton, Audet and Partners as co-liaison counsel. The role of co-liaison counsel will include administrative matters, such as to liaise with Plaintiffs’ attorneys who file cases in this MDL and who are not appointed to leadership in the MDL.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created the new MDL in the Northern District of California. There are 21 actions pending in 14 districts. Including the potential tag-along actions, there are now 37 actions pending in 21 districts. More than 10 different law firms represent plaintiffs in these actions, which were spread across the country.
The MDL Court noted that in the two actions previously pending in the Northern District of California, it had granted Monsanto’s request to bifurcate the proceedings. “However, because not all parties to the MDL have had an opportunity to be heard on this issue, the Court will consider additional arguments regarding bifurcation at the case management conference,” the judge wrote.
These lawsuits allege that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that the use of glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own.