The U.S. District Court has ruled on Monsanto’s motion for summary judgment. That summary judgment motion sought dismissal of the Roundup litigation.
In deciding the motion, the court denied the relief sought by Monsanto. As such, the litigation received a green light to proceed.
Monsanto Court Rules on Summary Judgment Motion
The initial portion of the court decision appears below, with citations omitted and our editorial notes in italics.
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Judge denies Roundup motion for summary judgment
The Court previously denied Monsanto’s motion for summary judgment on general causation, concluding that the opinions of the plaintiffs’ experts were shaky but admissible.
The question now is whether the plaintiffs have cleared the specific causation hurdle – that is, whether they have presented evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that exposure to glyphosate caused the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the three bellwether plaintiffs: Edwin Hardeman, Sioum Gebeyehou, and Elaine Stevick.
Legal Standard on a Motion for Summary Judgment
To defeat Monsanto’s motion for summary judgment on this issue, the plaintiffs must present at least one admissible expert opinion to support their specific causation argument.
It is again a close question, but the plaintiffs have barely inched over the line.
All three of the plaintiffs’ specific causation experts may testify at trial, although, as discussed below, some aspects of their opinions will not be admitted.
Monsanto’s Failed Attempt at Dismissal of Lawsuit
I. The plaintiffs’ specific causation experts use a “differential diagnosis” as the basis for their opinion that exposure to glyphosate caused these plaintiffs’ NHL. A differential diagnosis is simply a framework for identifying the most probable cause of a disease.
To conduct a differential diagnosis, a physician “rules in” all potential causes of a disease, “rules out” those for “which there is no plausible evidence of causation, and then determines the most likely cause among those that cannot be excluded.”
The Ninth Circuit has repeatedly approved the use of a differential diagnosis under Daubert, provided, of course, that it is applied reliably. Monsanto does not dispute that the plaintiffs’ experts may use a differential diagnosis as the basis for their opinions, but instead argues that both their “ruling in” and “ruling out” were
To view the full and unedited District Court document, here.