If you've developed health problems that might be linked to your use of the popular weed-killing product Roundup (glyphosate), you might be wondering about the potential value of any lawsuit you decide to file against Bayer (manufacturer of Roundup). Without knowing the specifics of your situation, it's not possible to put a precise dollar figure on your losses, but the first step toward valuing any case is understanding what's typically covered in a settlement or court award. (Get the basics on filing a lawsuit over Roundup-related illness.)
Just like with any personal injury case, figuring out the value of a Roundup injury claim starts with a full understanding of the nature and extent of the injured person's "damages"—a legal term that refers to losses suffered by the plaintiff (the person bringing the Roundup lawsuit), paid by the defendant in the lawsuit (in a Roundup case, that's Bayer, the huge multinational corporation that purchased Roundup manufacturer Monsanto a few years ago).
Whether your Roundup case reaches an early settlement or your lawsuit goes all the way to trial and you receive a verdict in your favor, the compensation (money) you receive can be thought of as "damages." Let's look at the common categories of damages in Roundup lawsuits, and how each might affect the value of your case.
If you've been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or any other health condition linked to your use of Roundup, and you've undergone treatment, the costs of all testing and care would be counted as part of your damages. The same goes for any care you'll require in the future, including costs of monitoring your condition.
If you haven't received a reliable prognosis, or the full extent and impact of your medical problems isn't well-defined, it's not a good idea to accept an injury settlement offer. Your attorney will almost certainly want to wait until both of you have a clear understanding of your condition and the care you'll require in the future, because once you accept a settlement, you can't go back and reopen your claim, even if you learn that your Roundup-related health problems are worse than you first thought.
If you've been forced to take time off from your job or have otherwise been unable to earn income because of a Roundup-related illness like non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, those economic losses will also factor into your damages.
Income-related damages based on future income are characterized as compensation for the injured person's "loss of earning capacity" or "diminished earning capacity" in legalese.
While medical bills and lost income are fairly easy to calculate in a Roundup illness case, "pain and suffering" damages aren't so easy to assess, but they can be a crucial factor in the value of a Roundup lawsuit.
Pain and suffering is often broken down into two components:
Learn more about pain and suffering in a personal injury case.
Filing a Roundup lawsuit means asking Bayer to compensate you for your illness and related losses. But it also means taking on the legal obligation to minimize those losses when it's reasonable for you to do so. The law in most states expects injury claimants to minimize ("mitigate") the financial impact of the harm caused by the defendant's negligence or other misconduct.
For example, if Bayer can successfully argue that you failed to get necessary medical care when you knew (or should have known) you were experiencing health problems related to your use of Roundup, your damages award might be significantly reduced. Being able to counter arguments like this is one big reason why it's important to have a lawyer on your side in a Roundup case. Get tips on finding the right lawyer for you and your case.