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Hollingsworth LLP Obtains Partial Summary Judgment for Monsanto

news | July 5, 2023

On June 14, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted Monsanto’s motion for partial summary judgment in Whalen v. Monsanto. The court agreed with Monsanto that all of plaintiffs’ claims (other than for wrongful death) were barred by Louisiana’s statute of limitations.

The case was brought in 2019 by the three children of an individual who had passed away in 2018. The children alleged that their father’s exposure to Roundup caused him to develop skin cancer in 2015. At her deposition, the plaintiffs’ stepmother testified that her husband was aware in either 2015 or 2016 of lawsuits alleging that individuals developed cancer due to their exposure to Roundup (although he did not believe science supported such claims). The court agreed with Monsanto that this knowledge was sufficient to start the clock ticking on Louisiana’s one-year statute of limitations, rendering any potential lawsuit regarding his cancer untimely at the time of his death. The remaining wrongful death claim was timely – and Monsanto did not move for summary judgment on that claim – but the court again agreed with Monsanto that punitive damages were not available under that claim pursuant to Louisiana law.