US District Judge Vince Chhabria requested attorneys who wish to be lead counsel in In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, Case 3:16-md-02741-VC, to submit applications by October 20, when the first pretrial conference will be held in San Francisco.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created the new MDL in the Northern District of California. There are currently 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.
In the Oct. 6 order, Judge Chhabria stated that the parties will discuss:
- The appointment of liaison and lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
- The possibility of bifurcating proceedings to address general causation before any plaintiff-specific questions.
- The schedule for discovery.
- The merits of appointing an independent expert at the parties’ shared expense.
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.
Three attorneys have submitted applications to be lead counsel including Robin Greenwald of Weitz & Luxenberg, Hunter Lundy of Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South LLP, and Aimee H. Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff.
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.
For more information read New Illinois Lawsuit Charges Monsanto’s Roundup Causes Cancer