If you've purchased Roundup, HDX or Ace weed and grass killer in recent years, you might have some money coming to you. Agricultural giant Monsanto, which produces all three, has agreed to a $45 million settlement in response to a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of failing to warn customers that the glyphosate-based herbicides could potentially cause cancer or other adverse health effects.
The payout is unrelated to the tens of thousands of personal injury claims filed against Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, by people diagnosed with cancer after using Roundup. The claimants in this suit alleged Monsanto was negligent in not warning them of the danger.
Read on to find out what the Roundup case is about, who can file a claim and how much class members can expect to receive. For information on other class-action cases, see if you qualify for part of.
What does the class-action lawsuit accuse Monsanto of?
The suit, first filed in US District Court for the District of Oregon in 2019, claimed Monsanto promoted and sold various weed and grass killers without disclosing their potential cancer risks.
The products all included glyphosate, one of the most common herbicides in the world. While the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015 classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans," the US Environmental Protection Agency has determined there is "no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer in humans."
Monsanto denies any wrongdoing but in 2021 agreed to pay between $23 million and $45 million to resolve the case. On June 21, 2022, US District Judge Vince Chhabria provisionally approved the maximum payout.
Which Monsanto weed killer brands are included in the settlement?
There are 19 Monsanto herbicide products containing glyphosate in the agreement, including Roundup Ready-to-Use Weed & Grass Killer, HDX Weed & Grass Killer Ready-to-Use and Ace Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate.
You can find a complete list of products here.
Who is eligible to file a claim in the Monsanto settlement?
Anyone in the US who purchased one of the varieties of Roundup, HDX or Ace weed and grass killer covered by the suit for any other reason than resale or distribution is eligible for a cash payment.
The class period depends on the state in which a product was bought. You can locate the specific time frame for your state here (PDF).
Do I need to have a Roundup receipt to file a claim?
According to the provisional settlement, no.
"Recognizing that many consumers will not have receipts or will not wish to go through the effort of locating them, proof of purchase will not be required to claim up to one Product for each year of the class period," the settlement said.
The only exception is for the largest and highest-priced concentrated products, which will require valid proof of purchase.
How do I file a claim to be part of the Roundup class-action settlement?
To participate in the settlement, you need to file a claim that includes your contact information, proof of purchase or information about the product you purchased, the retail location of the purchase including city and state and the approximate date of purchase.
You can file a claim here.
How much money could I get in the Monsanto settlement?
The payment will be between 55 cents and $33 -- or about 20% of the average retail price, depending on where the products were bought.
If the class member has proofs of purchase, there is no limit to the number of units they can claim.
Without proof of purchase, they can claim they bought between two and 11 units, depending on the state the items were bought in.
With the exception of the three largest concentrated products, though, claims without proof of purchase are limited to one item a year within the period covered by the settlement.
When is the deadline to file a claim?
The deadline to submit a claim or opt out of the settlement is Oct. 19, 2022. While the deadline to object to the settlement is Dec. 5, 2022.
When will class members receive their money?
A final hearing to determine the fairness of the settlement is slated for Jan. 12, 2023. If approved, payments would begin to be issued at some point after that.
Does accepting a settlement mean I can't sue if I used Roundup and develop cancer later?
The settlement does not relate to personal injury -- it only covers false advertising, consumer fraud, breach of warranty and other economic claims, according to the Top Class Actions website.
The settlement language "needs to scream from the mountaintops that if you participate in this settlement and later get sick from non-Hodgkin lymphoma your participation in this settlement does not preclude you from suing Monsanto," Chhabria, the district court judge, said in an April hearing, Courthouse News Service reported.
How has Monsanto responded to the allegations?
Neither Monsanto nor Bayer responded to a request for comment. But Bayer has publicly repudiated the claims in the suit and reiterated that the EPA has found glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
"Therefore, a cancer warning label on Monsanto's glyphosate-based products would be illegal misbranding," a Bayer spokesman told Law360.
Bayer's support for a settlement "is not due to any safety concerns," it said, "as the weight of scientific evidence and the conclusions of all expert regulators worldwide continue to support the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides."
There have been at least three high-profile civil suits involving the potential links between Monsanto's weed killers and cancer: In 2018, a San Francisco jury awarded $289 million to a groundskeeper who used Roundup products and developed late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In March 2019, a federal jury awarded $80 million to another California man after determining Roundup was "a substantial factor" in causing his lymphoma. In May of that same year, another jury awarded more than $2 billion to a California couple in their 70s who had both been diagnosed with the same illness after using Roundup for decades.
Courts, including the Supreme Court, have rejected Bayer's appeals and, in 2020, the company agreed to pay $10.9 billion to settle nearly 100,000 more lawsuits from individuals claiming glyphosate in Roundup and other Monsanto weed killers caused them to develop cancer.
Last year, Bayer announced it would remove glyphosate from its retail lawn care products by 2023, to "manage litigation risk in the U.S. and not because of safety concerns."