Alameda Superior Court Judge Ioana Petrou granted a request by an elderly couple for an expedited trial date for their case alleging Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides caused each of them to develop cancer. The judge reasoned that the serious nature of their diseases and advanced age justified moving their trial date up to March 18.
Alva Pilliod, 76, and Alberta Pilliod, were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011 and 2015, respectively. Both are currently in remission but both face several health issues. Alva, for example, has had multiple seizures and Alberta has frequent dizzy spells and double vision.
The Pilliods claim they frequently used Roundup in their garden. In June 2017, after Alva was diagnosed with the blood cancer, he and others filed a lawsuit against Monsanto claiming the active ingredient in its weed killers, glyphosate, was carcinogenic and contributed to their non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnoses.
Alva later asked Judge Petrou to add his wife, Alberta, as a plaintiff in his case. He also argued that their trial date should be scheduled before Feb. 8, due to their advanced age and illnesses.
Judge Petrou added Alberta to the lawsuit, but initially denied their request for an expedited trial date because both appeared to be in remission. But the Pilliods’ attorney urged her to reconsider the decision, arguing that the treatment the couple had taken and/or continues to take is taking a significant toll on their health.
The ruling moves the Pilliods’ trial date up by several months, making it the third case of its kind set for trial. The first trial ended in August with a $289 million judgment against Monsanto after a jury found the company’s glyphosate-containing weed killers caused a school groundskeeper to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The damages were later reduced to $78 million.
The second case set for trial, on Feb. 25, is part of a multidistrict litigation before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco. Monsanto, which was recently acquired by Bayer AG, faces more than 9,000 lawsuits alleging its glyphosate-containing herbicides cause cancer.