Attorney Bob Hilliard represents 35 local clients who he said are about to be part of a huge settlement deal with Monsanto.
Monsanto makes the weed killer Roundup. It's been at the center of thousands of claims from people who say it gave them non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. That disease proves lethal for many people.
Hilliard said he has about 1,100 of those clients. He is working with other attorneys to try and come to terms with Monsanto over their claims.
Dudley Calhoun is one of those clients. The 62-year-old East Texan is married with three children. He works at a tractor equipment company and also does some farming and ranching.
"I came into contact with it initially just in residential spraying the driveway, the edges around the house," Calhoun said.
He then began using the product commercially on his property. Eventually, he went to the doctor and was told he had cancer. He was eventually able to connect with Roundup about his health problems.
"As far as compensation, I don't know a good dollar to put on that because how much does it shorten my life?" Calhoun added.
That's a similar story that's going to be heard from a lot of folks involved in this lawsuit. Ken Feinberg is the mediator and has worked on a lot of huge cases over the years like the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. He was also an administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund. Feinberg knows that emotions can run high in these cases.
"Never underestimate the emotion, not in just the legal issues or the dollar and cents, the emotions of people, innocent people harmed by tragedy," Feinberg said. "Whenever I get one of these assignments, you brace yourself for what you're going to hear and how emotional innocent people will be."
Calhoun isn't sure how much money it will take to compensate him for his cancer diagnosis. In the meantime, he said he has to continue working so that he will still have his company's medical insurance until a decision is reached in his case.
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