A California Superior Court Judge has ruled a California woman’s claim that Bayer failed to warn her of the dangers of using Roundup is preempted by federal law, an argument Bayer has so far failed to make successfully in federal courts.
The company has been trying to find a way to get before the U.S. Supreme Court the issue of whether state tort law claims, which it is facing in thousands of court cases, are preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in May that FIFRA does not preempt such claims.
The ruling in Donetta Stephens v. Monsanto “is an important decision that adds to the growing case law holding that a state law-based cancer warning label on glyphosate-based herbicides cannot stand, as it would be in addition to, different from and in conflict with the EPA-approved, science-based label which is the law,” Bayer said in a statement.
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“FIFRA is clear a state law cannot add to or impose different standards for labels s those required by the FIFRA,” San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Gilbert Ochoa found. “When considering all the facts, they come down to one thing — the EPA holds to the belief glyphosate is not likely to be a human carcinogen and pose no human health risk. Because of that, the labels or glyphosate products do not need to include any warning that use could cause cancer.”
Ochoa ruled for the plaintiff on her claims of a design defect in the product, but Bayer said, “We do not believe the plaintiff can prove the necessary elements of any design defect theory under the law.”
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