The Vartazarian Law Firm

Wrongful death lawsuit tied to product liability issues

California has a phenomenal climate for farming, making it one of the state's premier industries. Many farmers find success growing fruits, such as avocados. As weeds can become a problem for many areas, some farmers choose to use herbicides to address the issue. The maker of a well-known weed killer has been named in a wrongful death lawsuit linked to product liability issues.

An avocado grower in Cambria mainly used his tractor and other equipment to remove weeds from his 20-acre-ranch. However, he routinely used Roundup, an herbicide manufactured by Monsanto, on certain areas of his ranch. He put the substance in a backpack sprayer, then sprayed it on the weeds.

The ranch owner's dog often went with him as he worked. The dog became sick in 2012 when swollen lymph nodes were discovered on its neck. The dog was diagnosed with lymphoma and died shortly thereafter. The owner found swollen lymph nodes in his neck about three years later and died in Dec. 2015. His widow had questioned the fact that both her husband and their dog had found lumps in their necks.

The woman recalled that the dog often accompanied her husband as he sprayed the trees. She filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Monsanto in March 2016. Records shows that hundreds of lawsuits with similar circumstances have been filed across the country. Monsanto officials are contesting the lawsuits, stating that the main ingredient in the herbicide, glyphosate, has been deemed as safe to use. However, California has added glyphosate to a list of cancer-causing chemicals.

When the use of a company's product has led to someone's death, survivors may wish to pursue wrongful death litigation based on product liability. A California personal injury lawyer can help clients understand their options and what steps to take next. Should a company be found liable, survivors could receive a monetary settlement that would help them with unforeseen funeral costs and other expenses.

Source: kqed.org, "California Cracks Down On Weed Killer As Lawsuits Abound", Stephanie O''Neill, Nov. 8, 2017

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