How Much Is Your Roundup (Glyphosate) Case Worth?

Putting a dollar value on your Roundup claim isn't easy, but understanding the concept of "damages" is crucial.

By , J.D. · University of San Francisco School of Law

If you've decided to pursue an injury claim over health problems linked to use of Roundup or a similar weed-killing product, you're probably wondering how much your case might be worth. Here's what to know at the outset:

  • Every Roundup lawsuit is different, and it's never easy to put a dollar figure on an individual claimant's losses, but the severity of the claimant's Roundup-related illness, and the (provable) extent of their use of Roundup factor in heavily.
  • It helps to understand what's typically covered in a settlement or court award in a Roundup lawsuit.
  • Many readers want to know what the average Roundup settlement might be, but there's no accurate way to answer that question.

Why Are Roundup Lawsuits Being Filed?

Thousands of people who have used Roundup and have been diagnosed with certain illnesses have filed lawsuits against Bayer (the manufacturer of Roundup) in recent years. These lawsuits allege that exposure to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other types of cancer.

Eligibility for filing a Roundup lawsuit usually requires:

  1. provable harm (diagnosis of an illness that can be viably linked to glyphosate)
  2. past use of Roundup, and
  3. ability to meet applicable lawsuit-filing deadlines under the statute of limitations.

Does Roundup Really Cause Cancer?

There's no definitive proof, but there are plenty of qualified (and differing) opinions. In 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic." Four years later, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared that glyphosate is "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans." Several studies—including 2019 research from the University of Washington—have found a causal link between Roundup and cancer. Meanwhile, health agencies in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, and New Zealand have determined that there is no such link.

All that aside, there's apparently enough evidence linking glyphosate to cancer (or at least enough evidence to find that Bayer should be warning consumers of the risk of cancer linked to glyphosate) to support a number of multimillion dollar verdicts in favor of former Roundup users.

What's the Current Status of Roundup Lawsuits?

Many Roundup lawsuits have been funneled into the Roundup "multi-district litigation" (MDL), a procedure that's meant to speed up and simplify pretrial matters. As mentioned above, a handful of Roundup lawsuits have reached the trial stage. Juries handed down large plaintiffs' verdicts after the first few trials, but Bayer prevailed in the next few. Despite extensive discussion of some kind of global settlement of current and future Roundup claims, nothing definitive has emerged. Get the latest on our Roundup Lawsuit News page.

"Damages" In a Roundup Case

As with any injury-related case, figuring out the value of a Roundup injury claim starts with an understanding of the nature and extent of the injured person's "damages," which is a legal term that refers to compensation for losses suffered by the injured person (the plaintiff in the Roundup lawsuit), paid by the defendant in the lawsuit (in a Roundup case, that's usually Bayer/Monsanto, the manufacturer of the product, but other defendants could include retailers and employers).

Whether your Roundup case settles out of court or you receive a judgment in your favor after a trial, the compensation (money) you receive can be thought of as "damages." (Learn more about the basics of damages and compensation in a personal injury case.)

Let's look at some common categories of damages, and how each might affect the value of your Roundup lawsuit.

Cost of Past and Future Medical Care

Any medical treatment you've received as a result of health problems linked to your use of Roundup, and any care you'll need in the future, is part of your damages. So, for example, if you've been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma or any other condition, and you've undergone treatment, the costs of all testing and treatment would be counted here.

(On a related note, if the full extent and impact of your medical problems isn't clear, it's probably not in your best interest to accept an injury settlement offer. Your attorney will almost certainly want to wait until both of you have a clear picture of this component of your damages, because once you accept an injury settlement, you can't go back and reopen your claim, even if you learn that your Roundup-related health problems are worse than you first thought.)

Lost Income and Diminished Earning Capacity

If a Roundup-related illness like non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has forced you to take time off from your job, or has otherwise affected your ability to earn a living, that kind of economic harm will also factor into your damages. Specifically, you are entitled to compensation for any income you've already lost because of your health problems, and for income you would have earned in the future, were it not for your health issues. In "legalese," an award based on future income is characterized as compensation for the injured person's "loss of earning capacity" or "diminished earning capacity."

"Pain and Suffering" In a Roundup Case

While economic losses like medical bills and lost income are fairly easy to calculate, "pain and suffering" isn't so easy to quantify. But this category of damages plays a big part in determining how much you can expect to receive in an injury case, and can be a crucial component of a Roundup lawsuit in particular.

Pain and suffering is often broken down into two types. Physical pain and suffering comes from your actual physical injuries, such as the discomfort resulting from your illness and the course of care necessary to treat it (including chemotherapy and radiation therapy). Mental pain and suffering can be viewed as the subjective psychological impact of your physical pain. This includes anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, shock, sleeplessness, and other negative effects. Learn more about pain and suffering in a Roundup case.

The "Duty to Mitigate" Damages in a Roundup Case

When you file a Roundup lawsuit, you're asking the product's manufacturer or another defendant to compensate you for your damages. But you're also taking on the legal obligation to keep those damages to a reasonable minimum. The law in most states expects injury claimants to minimize or "mitigate" the financial impact of the harm caused by the defendant's alleged wrongdoing.

For example, if Monsanto or the retailer you're suing can successfully argue that you failed to get necessary medical treatment when you knew (or should have known) you were experiencing health problems related to your use of Roundup, your damages award might be significantly reduced. This is one of many reasons why it's important to have an experienced lawyer on your side in a Roundup case.

What's the Average Roundup Lawsuit Settlement Amount Per Person in 2022?

This is a very popular question, but unfortunately, there's no way to answer it, at least not reliably. That's partially because most settlement agreements are confidential, making the details tough (if not impossible) to obtain. But another big reason is that many Roundup cases are grouped together in a process called multidistrict litigation (MDL), so individual settlements between Roundup claimants and Bayer (manufacturer of Roundup) haven't been commonplace.

It's been estimated that future Roundup claimants might get around $5,000 to $200,000 each under a proposed $2 billion settlement (announced in February 2021 as part of the MDL). These numbers are purely speculative, since the settlement hasn't been approved. And the amount per claimant would depend on factors like age, health, and ability to prove the nature and extent of Roundup use.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Roundup Lawsuit?

Articles like this one can only give you a basic sense of how Roundup claims are valued, and the kinds of losses that are compensable. The best way to get an idea of how much your potential Roundup case might be worth is to discuss the specifics of your situation with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Having a lawyer on your side is crucial in a Roundup case. These lawsuits often hinge on complex medical evidence, and Bayer has limitless resources to fight any and all Roundup claimants. You can use the tools on this page to connect with an attorney in your area. Learn more about finding the right Roundup lawyer and how Roundup lawyers are paid.

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