February 13, 2020

“Could Federal Preemption Blow Up a $289M Roundup Verdict?”

New briefs filed in the appeal of a $239 million Roundup verdict debate whether federal law preempts the decision, The National Law Journal reports.

Both sides were asked to file supplemental briefs to the California First District Court of Appeal on whether U.S. Supreme Court precedents on federal preemption apply to the original case, in which a man alleged Roundup caused cancer. The plaintiffs say Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, never asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about potential label changes regarding the product’s risk. But the defense said there “is ‘clear evidence’ that EPA, having been fully informed, would have rejected” the label change request, making it “’impossible’ for Monsanto to comply with both federal law and the state-law duty to warn theory on which the verdict rests.”

Oral arguments in the appeal have not yet been scheduled, but indications suggest they may begin in March or April.

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