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January 28, 2021 — Pamela Smith v. Monsanto Company — A Nebraska woman has sued Monsanto Co. in Oklahoma federal court on January 27, 2021, alleging that it caused her husband’s death from cancer as a result of manufacturing the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate. She is arguing that it has known for decades that it falsely advertises the safety of Roundup. Smith is asserting claims for design defect, strict liability for failure to warn, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranties, and loss of consortium.

Smith is further asserting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initially classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans in 1985.  But, then it allegedly succumbed to urging from Monsanto to change the classification to “evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans” in 1991. Additionally, Smith is alleging that the EPA found that the labs which Monsanto hired to test Roundup’s toxicity for registration purposes committed fraud.

Smith asserts that neither she nor her husband had a reasonable way of knowing about the risk of serious illness associated with the use of, or exposure to, Roundup until the International Agency for Research on Cancer made a formal assessment of glyphosate in 2015.  Monsanto, however, was under a continuous duty to disclose to consumers, users, and other persons coming into contact with its products, including her husband, accurate safety information concerning its products and the risks associated with the use of and/or exposure to Roundup and glyphosate.

She accuses Monsanto of knowingly, affirmatively, and actively concealing safety information concerning Roundup and glyphosate and the risks associated with the use of and/or exposure to its products.  She claims that as a proximate result of Monsanto’s wrongful acts and omissions in placing its defective Roundup products into the stream of commerce without adequate warnings of the hazardous and carcinogenic nature of glyphosate, and in breach of its warranties, negligence, and strict liability, she and her husband suffered injuries.

Reference:  Lexis Legal News, “Widow Sues Monsanto For Husband’s Cancer, Death From Exposure To Glyphosate”, 28 Jan 2021, https://www.lexislegalnews.com/articles/58689/widow-sues-monsanto-for-husband-s-cancer-death-from-exposure-to-glyphosate

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Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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