February 27, 2017 – McDermott Will & Emery’s victory on behalf of Monsanto, in the case Dauber v. Monsanto, has been selected by the Daily Journal as one of the “Top Defense Verdicts of 2016.” The McDermott team was led by Anthony Upshaw, with assistance from Marissa Krumm and Asra Chatham.
On April 5, 2016, a 12-member jury in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County found that Monsanto was not liable for the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases of the two plaintiffs.
The case turned on the alleged health risks of the plaintiffs’ exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the environment.
Monsanto had argued that no link has been made between PCBs and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and that actions taken by the company as far back as the 1930s must be considered separately from the environmental standards in place today, but that even then, Monsanto’s conduct decades ago complied with today’s standard of care.
The jury ultimately agreed with the defense and decided the case in favor of Monsanto. The victory had a significant impact. At the time, there were about 750 similar claims against Monsanto around the country involving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because of this result, many plaintiffs looked to resolve their remaining cases.
McDermott’s role in Dauber v. Monsanto was recently highlighted as the second overall defense verdict for 2016 by Courtroom View Network (CVN). In addition to his recent in-the-courtroom success, Mr. Upshaw was recently inducted into the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.