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April 29, 2024

In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation

In May 2020, putative class representative, Julio Ezcurra, sought to represent a class of Florida residents who, from February 2016 through February 2020, purchased certain Roundup® brand glyphosate-based herbicides (“Roundup”) manufactured by defendant Monsanto Company.  Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the lawsuit Ezcurra, et al. v. Monsanto Company (9:20-CV-80524) alleged that Monsanto failed to disclose to consumers Roundup’s potential to cause cancer in humans.  As further alleged, consumers did not get the benefit of their bargain when purchasing Roundup because its potential carcinogenicity was not disclosed. Econ One’s Dr. D.C. Sharp, an expert in applied econometrics with experience in class action cases alleging false or misleading claims, was retained by counsel for the putative class.

Dr. Sharp was asked to calculate the price premium the proposed class of consumers paid for the product, given that its carcinogenic potential was undisclosed.  To calculate the price premium, Dr. Sharp relied upon a well-accepted econometric technique commonly referred to as “hedonic regression”.  Using publicly available herbicide retail price and attribute data along with the hedonic regression methodology, Dr. Sharp found that Roundup prices would have been approximately 31% lower but for the defendant’s alleged omissions.  In other words, class consumers paid a price premium of approximately 31%.  The econometric model in Sharp’s report, submitted in July 2020, was later used to establish a $45M settlement fund to resolve related litigation in Gilmore, et al. v. Monsanto Company (3:21-cv-08159) and multidistrict litigation entitled In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation (3:16-md-02741), both filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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