Monsanto ordered to pay $2 bn in new Roundup trial
Monsanto ordered to pay $2 bn in new Roundup trial
Bayer has lost three trials in a row over claims that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer
14 May, 2019, 07:11
In a bombshell verdict, a couple in California have been awarded more than $2 billion in punitive damages in their civil case against Monsanto, after accusing the maker of Roundup weed killer of causing their cancer. Jurors awarded them each $1 billion in punitive damages in addition to a combined $55 million in compensatory damages.
This is the largest payout in this series of cases to date - and, in fact, rates as one of the highest payouts in history over an alleged defective product.
In March, after the second jury found that Roundup caused cancer, Bayersaid that more than 800 studies submitted to EPA, European and other regulators "confirms that these products are safe when used as directed", including a 2018 independent National Cancer Institute-supported long-term study that "found no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and cancer".
"We have great sympathy for Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod, but the evidence in this case was clear that both have long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), most National Hockey League has no known cause, and there is not reliable scientific evidence to conclude that glyphosate-based herbicides were the "but for" cause of their illnesses as the jury was required to find in this case", the company said in a a release.
Bayer released the following statement in reaction to a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the case of Pilliod v. Monsanto, a trial conducted before Judge Winifred Smith in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Alameda.
Alva and Alberta Pilliod, who are in their 70s, claimed they used Roundup for more than 30 years to landscape their home and other properties, without protective gear.
It is the third case to go before a jury, according to the couple's lawyers.
They filed their lawsuit in 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and 2015, respectively. The jury found Roundup had been defectively designed, that the company failed to warn of the herbicide's cancer risk and that the company acted negligently.
The jury in Oakland delivered Monsanto's third such loss in California since August.
But Bayer now faces more than 13,400 United States lawsuits over Roundup's alleged cancer risk. That award was later reduced to $78m and is on appeal. Bayer is appealing each of these verdicts. Both of them are now in remission, but their trial had been expedited due to the risk of a relapse and potentially short life expectancy.
Lawsuits are largely based on a 2015 conclusion by the World Health Organization's cancer arm, which classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans".
The company noted that none of the California verdicts has been considered by an appeals court and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers the weed killer safe.
The award was the latest in a series of court defeats for Monsanto over Roundup.
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