1. WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?
The proposed Class Action Settlement Agreement (“Settlement” or “Agreement”) will provide the Class with monetary relief in an amount not less than $23 million (the “Floor Amount”) and not greater than $45 million (the “Ceiling Amount”) to pay all aspects of the Settlement, including, but not limited to, all costs of Class Notice, Claims Administration Expenses, Class Member Claims, Class Representative service awards, Class Counsel’s Expenses, and Class Counsel’s Fees.
This is not a personal-injury settlement and does not provide relief for personal injury or sickness.
CLASS MEMBERS WILL RETAIN THEIR RIGHT TO SUE IF THEY CURRENTLY HAVE, OR LATER DEVELOP, CANCER OR ANY OTHER ILLNESS OR INJURY FROM EXPOSURE TO THE PRODUCTS.
Class Members will be able to make claims for payments for the Roundup®, HDX®, and Ace® Products listed below, equivalent to approximately 20% of their weighted average retail price during the relevant class period. Payments per unit range from $0.50 to $33.00, depending on the price of the product(s) purchased, for between 2 and 11 units without proof of purchase, depending on the state of purchase. The amount available for each Product is shown in Appendix 1. With the exception of the three largest concentrated Products, claims can be made without proof of purchase, but such claims are limited to 1 unit per year within the Class Period. For example, if a Claimant purchased a 1.33 gal. container of Roundup® Ready to Use Max Control 365 in California at least once a year since 2015, the refund amount could be $56.00 without proof of purchase.
An unlimited number of bottles of the Products can be claimed if the Class Member provides valid proof of purchase for each Product purchased. Claimants may be contacted and required to also provide a declaration signed under penalty of perjury that provides additional information to confirm that the proof of purchase is genuine and sufficient.
If total claims submitted by Authorized Claimants exceed the Ceiling Amount after all other expenses are deducted, the amount refunded to Authorized Claimants will be reduced pro rata. On the other hand, if total claims submitted are below the Floor Amount after all other expenses are deducted, the amount refunded to Authorized Claimants will be increased pro rata.
If uncashed checks cause the total amount paid by Monsanto to fall below the Floor Amount, that amount will be distributed pro rata to Class Members if a further distribution is economically feasible. Otherwise, that amount will be donated to the National Consumer Law Center.
2. WHY IS THERE A NOTICE?
You have the right to know about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement. This Notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, and what benefits are available and how to get them.
The court in charge of this case is the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (the “Court”), and the case is called Scott Gilmore et al. v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 3:21-cv-8159 (N.D. Cal.). The case is assigned to District Judge Vince Chhabria. The individuals who sued are called the Class Representatives, and the company they sued, Monsanto Company (“Monsanto”), is called the Defendant.
If you are a Class Member, unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant, any Retailers of the Products, or any other Released Persons, about the claims released in this Settlement. That also means that all decisions by the Court will bind you. The Released Claims and Released Persons are defined in the Settlement Agreement and describe the legal claims that you give up (or “release”) if you stay in the Settlement. The Released Claims relate to the same facts, products, and issues raised in the lawsuit (also referred to as claims arising from an “identical factual predicate”). The Released Claims DO NOT include claims that you developed cancer, or any other personal injury, as a result of exposure to the Products. A detailed description of the Released Claims is included in Appendix 2. The Settlement Agreement is available HERE.
3. WHAT IS THE LAWSUIT ABOUT?
The lawsuit seeks to obtain compensation for alleged false advertising and breach of warranty. Plaintiffs argue that Defendant falsely advertised and promoted the Products by failing to disclose that the Products, and their active ingredient, glyphosate, could potentially cause cancer or other adverse health effects. If you purchased any of the Products during the Class Period for purposes other than resale or distribution, you are in the Class.
Monsanto denies Plaintiffs’ allegations and any wrongdoing and disputes the Class’s right to recover anything. Nevertheless, it has agreed to settle the lawsuit for the purpose of avoiding the time and expense of further litigation.
This case is not a personal-injury case. Plaintiffs do not allege that they were injured or became ill from exposure to the Products. You need not have suffered personal injury to be a member of the Class or to file a claim. And the Settlement does not release any claims you may have against Monsanto or anyone else that you developed cancer, or any other personal injury, as a result of exposure to the Products.
4. WHY IS THIS A CLASS ACTION?
In a class action, one or more people called “class representatives” or “plaintiffs” (in this case, Scott Gilmore, James Weeks, Paul Taylor, Sherry Hanna, Amanda Boyette, Julio Ezcurra, Anthony Jewell, and Kristy Williams), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims and so are all part of a “class” and called “class members.” Bringing a case, such as this one, as a class action allows the adjudication of many similar claims of consumers that might be economically too small to bring in individual actions. One court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.
5. WHY IS THERE A SETTLEMENT?
Plaintiffs and Class Counsel have evaluated the information made available during the lawsuit and have taken into account the risks and uncertainties of proceeding with this litigation, including the risks and uncertainties of class certification, prevailing on the merits, proving damages at trial, and prevailing on post-trial motions and appeal. Based upon their consideration of these factors, Plaintiffs and Class Counsel believe it is in the best interests of the Class to settle the lawsuit and provide an opportunity for Class Members to receive a settlement payment.
Monsanto denies Plaintiffs’ allegations and any wrongdoing, and the Class’s right to recover anything. Nevertheless, it has agreed to settle the lawsuit for the purpose of avoiding the time and expense of further litigation.
The terms of the proposed Settlement are set forth in more detail in the Agreement filed with the Court, which is also available HERE.
6. THE CLASS
The Court has certified a Settlement Class defined as:
All Persons in the United States, who, during the Class Period, purchased Products (as defined below) in the United States other than for resale or distribution.
The “Products” are defined as:
- Roundup® Ready-to-Use Weed & Grass Killer (all sizes, applicators, and varieties)
- Roundup® Ready-to-Use Weed & Grass Killer Plus (all sizes, applicators, and varieties)
- Roundup® Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate Plus (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Weed & Grass Killer Super Concentrate (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Ready-to-Use Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Ready-to-Use Wild Blackberry Plus Vine and Brush Killer (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Concentrate Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Concentrate Wild Blackberry Plus Vine and Brush Killer (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Ready-to-Use Extended Control Weed & Grass Killer Plus Weed Preventer (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Concentrate Extended Control Weed & Grass Killer Plus Weed Preventer (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Ready-to-Use Max Control 365 (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Concentrate Max Control 365 (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Weed & Grass Killer Sure Shot Foam (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Precision Gel Weed & Grass Killer (all sizes and varieties)
- Roundup® Pro Concentrate (2.5 gal.)
- HDX® Weed & Grass Killer Ready-to-Use (all sizes and varieties)
- HDX® Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate (all sizes and varieties)
- Ace® Ready-to-Use Weed & Grass Killer (all sizes and varieties)
- Ace® Weed & Grass Killer Concentrate (all sizes and varieties)
The “Class Period” depends on the state where each Class Member made his or her purchases. A list of the applicable Class Periods for each State is located HERE and also attached to this Notice as Appendix 3. You should check it carefully to ensure your purchase was made within the applicable Class Period for your state.
The Products were sold widely at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and in the United States territories, and were also available at stores including, but not limited to, Target, Ace Hardware, True Value, Orchard Supply, and Amazon.com.
7. HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM A CLASS MEMBER?
You are a member of the Class if you:
- Purchased a Roundup®, Ace®, or HDX® Product included in the Class definition above,
- During the Class Period applicable to your state (see Appendix 3 to this Notice), and
- For purposes other than distribution or resale.
If you are not sure whether you are a Class Member, or have any other questions about the Settlement, you should contact the Claims Administrator by email: info@WeedKillerAdSettlement.com, or by phone (toll-free) at 1-833-749-1489.
8. WILL THE SETTLEMENT AFFECT MY RIGHT TO SUE IF I CLAIM THAT I HAVE OR LATER DEVELOP CANCER OR ANY OTHER ILLNESS OR INJURY FROM EXPOSURE TO THE PRODUCTS?
No. You can participate in the settlement without releasing any claims you may have against Monsanto or anyone else that you developed cancer, or any other personal injury, as a result of exposure to the Products. This case is not a personal-injury case. Plaintiffs do not allege that they were injured or became ill from exposure to the Products. You need not have suffered personal injury to be a member of the Class or to participate in the settlement.
9. HOW DO I MAKE A CLAIM?
You must submit a Claim Form to get a monetary payment. Claim Forms are simple and easy to complete, requiring (i) contact information; (ii) proof of purchase or information about the identity and quantity purchased; (iii) the retail location (including city and state) of the purchase; (iv) the approximate date of purchase; and (v) your affirmation that the information provided is true and correct. In exchange for receiving a monetary payment, under the Settlement Agreement, you will give up your rights to sue the Released Persons about the claims in the lawsuit or any other Released Claims.
Claim Forms must be submitted online or postmarked no later than October 19, 2022. Claim Forms may be filed online. Printed Claim Forms will be mailed to Class Members upon request by calling or writing to the Claims Administrator. Printed Claim Forms should be mailed to:
Gilmore v. Monsanto Co. – Claims
c/o Postlethwaite & Netterville
P.O. Box 4208
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
10. HOW DO I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT?
If you do not want to be bound by this Settlement, you must request to be excluded from the Class. All Class Members who purchased the Products listed above during the Class Period who do not exclude themselves from the Settlement will be bound by the orders issued by the Court regarding the Settlement.
If you request to be excluded from the Class, you will retain any individual rights you have against Monsanto and will not have “released” Monsanto or any other Released Persons from any claims. However, you will not receive the compensation described above. You may not object to the Settlement under this option.
If you wish to be excluded from the Class (also referred to as “opting out”), you must either download and print an Opt-Out Form from the Settlement Website (HERE) or request that the Claims Administrator send you a paper Opt-Out Form, fill out and sign the Opt-Out Form, and mail it to the Claims Administrator, postmarked on or before October 19, 2022, at the following address:
Gilmore v. Monsanto Co. – Exclusions
c/o Postlethwaite & Netterville
P.O. Box 4208
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
11. IF I OPT OUT, CAN I STILL GET A SETTLEMENT PAYMENT?
No. You will not get any money from the Settlement if you opt out and you cannot object to the Settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit. If you opt out from the Settlement, do not submit a Claim Form asking for benefits.
12. HOW DO I TELL THE COURT IF I DON'T LIKE THE SETTLEMENT?
You can ask the Court to deny approval by filing an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order a different settlement; the Court can only approve or reject the settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you may object.
If you want to express an objection to part or all of the Settlement, you may, but are not required to, appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney. If the Settlement is approved, you will still be bound by the Settlement and will receive the Settlement compensation if you file a valid and timely Claim Form.
If you wish to object, you must electronically file a written objection via the Court’s Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system; deliver a written objection to the Class Action Clerk by mail, express mail, or personal delivery; or file a written objection in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The written objection must (a) clearly identify the case name and number (Gilmore v. Monsanto Co., Case No. 3:21-cv-8159); (b) contain information sufficient to identify and contact you or your attorney; and (c) contain a clear and concise statement of your objection, as well as any facts and law supporting the objection. You may object either on your own behalf or through an attorney hired at your own expense. If you are represented by an attorney, you must either sign the objection yourself or execute a separate declaration stating that you authorize the filing of the objection. You must substantially comply with the foregoing requirements for filing a written objection before appearing at the settlement approval hearing, but these requirements may be excused by the Court for good cause. Objections must be filed or postmarked no later than December 5, 2022.
If you wish to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, you should file with the Court a notice of intention to appear, either in person or through an attorney no later than December 5, 2022.
The address for the Class Action Clerk is below:
Class Action Clerk
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
13. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OBJECTING AND OPTING OUT?
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement by opting out. Excluding yourself from the Settlement by opting out is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.
14. DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THE CASE?
The Court has appointed, as Class Counsel in this case, Gillian L. Wade, Sara D. Avila, and Marc A. Castaneda, of Milstein, Jackson, Fairchild & Wade, LLP, Joel Oster of the Law Offices of Howard Rubinstein, and any attorneys at those firms assisting in the representation of the Class in this Action.
The Court has determined that Class Counsel are qualified to represent you and all other Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. The lawyers handling the case are experienced in handling similar cases. Nevertheless, you have the right to consult or retain an attorney of your choice at your own expense to advise you regarding the Settlement and your rights in connection with the Settlement and Final Approval Hearing described below.
15. HOW WILL THE LAWYERS GET PAID?
Class Counsel intends to apply for fees of up to one-fourth of the Ceiling Amount, and Plaintiffs and Class Counsel intend to apply for service awards of up to $5,000 each for the Plaintiffs Scott Gilmore, James Weeks, Paul Taylor, Sherry Hanna, Amanda Boyette, Julio Ezcurra, Anthony Jewell, and Kristy Williams (the “named plaintiffs”). Whether to award those amounts is in the Court’s discretion. If awarded, these payments will be subtracted from the amount available to pay Class Members’ claims.
16. WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE COURT DECIDE WHETHER TO APPROVE THE SETTLEMENT?
The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing (also referred to as a “Fairness Hearing”) to determine whether the Court should approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Class, and whether Judgment should be entered in accordance with the Agreement. The Court will also consider at the Final Approval Hearing the request of Class Counsel for an award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses, as well as the request of the named plaintiffs for service awards for services rendered on behalf of the Class.
The Final Approval Hearing will occur on January 12, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Your attendance at the Final Approval Hearing is not required. However, you may be heard orally at the hearing in opposition to the proposed Settlement if you wish.
You may also enter an appearance through an attorney retained at your own expense. If you do not enter an appearance through an attorney, and do not object, Class Counsel will represent you at the hearing.
The Court may delay the date of the Final Approval Hearing without further notice to the members of the Settlement Class, in which case the new date of the Final Approval Hearing will be posted on the Settlement Website, www.WeedKillerAdSettlement.com.
17. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOTHING AT ALL?
If you do nothing, you will get no money from the Settlement. Unless you exclude yourself, if the Settlement is approved, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Monsanto or any Released Persons about the claims in this case or any other Released Claims. However, you will retain any claim you may have against Monsanto or anyone else that you developed cancer, or any other personal injury, as a result of exposure to the Products.
18. HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
This Notice’s description of the case and Settlement is general. If you want more detailed information about the lawsuit and proposed Settlement, or to review the Settlement documents and related pleadings, you may visit the Court Documents page of the Settlement Website. If you have additional questions, you can visit the Settlement Website or contact the Claims Administrator:
By Mail: Gilmore v. Monsanto Co., c/o Postlethwaite & Netterville, P.O. Box 4208, Baton Rouge, LA 70821
By Email: info@WeedKillerAdSettlement.com
By Phone (Toll Free): 1-833-749-1489
Updates will be posted on the Settlement Website as information about the Settlement process becomes available.
If you wish to review the Court’s docket in this case, you may do so at https://pacer.uscourts.gov/file-case/court-cmecf-lookup/court/CANDC, the Court’s public access website.
DO NOT TELEPHONE OR ADDRESS ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CASE OR SETTLEMENT TO THE CLERK OF THE COURT OR TO THE JUDGE. THEY ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. THE COURT EXPRESSES NO VIEW AS TO THE MERITS OF ANY CLAIMS OR DEFENSES ASSERTED BY ANY PARTY TO THE ACTION.
For more information, visit www.WeedKillerAdSettlement.com or call 1-833-749-1489.