If you're thinking about filing a lawsuit over health problems linked to your use of Roundup (or some other product that uses the herbicide glyphosate as an active ingredient), you're probably wondering what to expect in terms of the outcome (and perhaps not just in terms of winning or losing). As with most personal injury claims, the majority of Roundup/glyphosate cases will reach a settlement at some point before trial. (Get some background on Roundup and the law.)
In the context of a personal injury case, a settlement is a legally-binding agreement between an injured person (the plaintiff) and the party allegedly responsible for causing the plaintiff's injury (the defendant). The plaintiff agrees to accept some amount of compensation in return for releasing the defendant from any future liability for the underlying incident. (Learn more about how a personal injury settlement works.)
A Roundup/glyphosate settlement will include compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, cost of any future medical care, and other losses (collectively known as "damages" in legalese). The specific dollar amount depends on many variables, including the nature and extent of the plaintiff's health problems, and the strength (or weakness) of the medical evidence. Learn why a proper diagnosis is so important in a Roundup case.
Roundup cases can sometimes be complicated by the passage of time between the plaintiff's use of the glyphosate product and the development of health problems like non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or some other condition. That's one of many reasons why it's often difficult for even an experienced lawyer to speculate as to what kind of settlement a claimant is likely to receive. Learn more about factors that determine the value of a Roundup case.
With most kinds of lawsuits, the parties involved (and their respective lawyers) want to avoid surprises and minimize risk. Roundup (glyphosate) cases are no expectation. An injured patient usually doesn't want to risk going all the way to trial and coming away with nothing, and manufacturers like Monsanto (maker of Roundup) don't want to put their financial viability or their reputations in the hands of civil juries, especially when more than a few product defect cases have led to multi-million dollar plaintiffs' verdicts, often despite less-than-airtight proof of liability.
Settling a Roundup lawsuit also saves the parties time, money, and stress, in most instances.
Most Roundup cases follow a fairly predictable timeline, but these claims can also reach an out-of-court settlement at any time. The parties might reach an out-of-court settlement on their own—sometimes before a lawsuit is even filed, or after information is exchanged through the "discovery" process and one or both sides see the proverbial writing on the wall. Court-ordered attempts at resolution (like mediation and mandatory settlement conferences) can also help coax the parties toward resolution. Learn more about the timeline of a typical Roundup (glyphosate) case.
It's important to keep in mind that if your Roundup lawsuit settles, the defendant (the manufacturer of the glyphosate-based product) will pay you an agreed-upon amount, but there won't be any admission of liability in the settlement agreement (the defendant won't admit to having done anything wrong, in other words). And chances are the agreement will require the parties to keep the terms of the settlement (including how much you received from the defendant) confidential.
It's normal to wonder how your Roundup case might get resolved—how much compensation you might get, how long it could take—just don't expect any guarantees from an attorney. Learn more about finding the right lawyer for you and your Roundup case.