Jury Awards $2BN Damages In Roundup Weedkiller Cancer Claim

Bayer is ordered to pay $2 billion in Roundup cancer case

A jury in California has awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer.

The jury came to its verdict yesterday, Monday, May 13, and according to Reuters, the case is the largest USA jury verdict to date against the company in litigation over the chemical.

Monsanto was initially ordered to pay $289 million to the groundskeeper, before the damages were reduced to $78.5 million.

The Alameda County Superior Court jury voted 11-1 to order Bayern AG to pay $1 billion to both Alva Pilliod, 76 and Alberta Pilliod, 74, as well as $18 million and $37 million respectively in additional damages for pain and suffering and economic loss.

Alva and Alberta Pilliod, who launched the legal action against the Bayer-owned company, will collectively receive $2.05 billion, The Associated Press reported.

According to Monday's ruling, Roundup weed killer was liable for causing cancer, while U.S. agrochemical firm Monsanto, acquired by Bayer last June, failed to inform consumers about the potential risks.

Bayer, inventor of Aspirin and maker of stroke prevention drug Xarelto and Yasmin birth control pills, faces US lawsuits from more than 13,400 plaintiffs over the herbicide's alleged cancer risk.

Bayer issued a statement Monday in response to the verdict.

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In a statement, Bayer said it was disappointed with the jury's decision and would appeal the verdict, which it argues was at odds with a recent US Environmental Protection Agency review of glyphosate-based weed killers.

"The jury saw for themselves internal company documents demonstrating that, from day one, Monsanto has never had any interest in finding out whether Roundup is safe", said plaintiff's counsel Brent Wisner. They were both found to have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. They are appealing the verdicts.

In March, after the second jury found that Roundup caused cancer, Bayer said 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".

"Mounting evidence suggests that exposure to Monsanto's Roundup weed killer increases the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body's immune system", the law firm says on its website.

The Pilliods said they had used the Roundup herbicide on their yard and other properties for decades.

More than 13,000 other lawsuits have been filed against its subsidiary, Monsanto, the maker of Roundup. It is also insisting its legal fortunes could change, as none of the three cases in California have yet gone to appeals courts.

Bayer denied the allegations.

The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, however, concluded in 2015 that the chemical probably causes cancer.

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