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Mother with cancer files billion-dollar lawsuit

Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 19:16:47-05

A Palm Beach County mom battling cancer is filing a billion lawsuit against a Florida-based landscaping company along with agricultural giant Monsanto.

Melanie Lynn Lafond, a mother of three, is battling Stage-4 esophageal cancer in a North Carolina hospital.

She says she was routinely exposed to the herbicide Roundup at her job without being warned of its potential harmful effects.

Her attorney Willie Gary is filing the suit against Monsanto, claiming negligent design and marketing and he says For Ever Green Landscaping failed to warn and equip Lafond with proper gear while using Roundup.

From 2016 to 2018 Lafond says she was required to wear a tank as a backpack and spray Roundup on plants.

"So it wasn’t just a homeowner who is doing this 20 minutes or something like that, she was doing it regularly day in and day out over the course of two years so her level of exposure is substantial," attorney Larry Strauss said.

"She’s trying to raise three boys though not easy and the landscaping company gave her a job so she took it and now she’s in a situation where she has less than six months to live," said attorney Willie Gary.

We reached out to Bayer which owns Monsanto. They sent us a statement saying in part: Roundup and similar herbicides are "safe when used as directed.” And says an independent long-term study found no association between these herbicides and cancer. They add “Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.”

We also reached out to For Ever Green for a statement. We are still waiting to hear back



“There is an extensive body of research on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, including more than 800 rigorous studies submitted to EPA, European and other regulators in connection with the registration process, that confirms that these products are safe when used as directed. Notably, the largest and most recent epidemiologic study – the 2018 independent National Cancer Institute-supported long-term study that followed over 50,000 pesticide applicators for more than 20 years and was published after the IARC monograph – found no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and cancer. Additionally, EPA’s 2017 post-IARC cancer risk assessment examined more than 100 studies the agency considered relevant and concluded that glyphosate is ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,’ its most favorable rating.

“Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.”