Jury Slams Bayer-Monsanto in Latest Roundup Cancer Trial

Jury awards couple $2 billion in damages after ruling that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller caused their cancer

Jury Slams Bayer-Monsanto in Latest Roundup Cancer Trial

A jury in California on Monday ordered Bayer-owned Monsanto to pay more than $2 billion damages to a couple that sued on grounds the weed killer Roundup caused their cancer, lawyers said.

The verdict is the third legal defeat in a row for Monsanto, Roundup's parent company, which was acquired by Bayer previous year.

It called the jury's decision "excessive and unjustifiable" adding that both Alva and Alberta Pilliod had histories of illnesses that were known risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In 2011, Alva was diagnosed with systemic National Hockey League in his bones, which spread to his pelvis and spine, and Alberta was diagnosed with National Hockey League brain cancer in 2015.

In March 2019, a federal jury in California found that Monsanto's Roundup weed killer caused a 70-year old man's cancer.

"There appeared to be more detailed evidence damaging to Monsanto, which strengthens plaintiffs' cases down the pipeline even further", said Pavlik, who has followed the trials.

EPA's conclusion is based on a database of more than 800 studies on glyphosate and Bayer's glyphosate-based herbicides that relate to human and mammalian health, and its 2017 cancer risk assessment also examined numerous studies in the open literature.

They saw an ad in a paper by attorney Michael Miller who they said helped connect their cancer to Monsanto's Roundup weed-killer and one of its ingredients glyphosate. It also seems to fly in the face of a 2016 California Supreme Court ruling that found the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages in successful lawsuits should nearly never exceed nine to one, the AP added.

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.

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement that the California jury's decision "shows that there's more than enough evidence that Roundup is an environmental and public health nightmare".

The company insists the glyphosate-based product is not linked to cancer and says it was disappointed with the verdict and will appeal.

Alberta Pilliod, 76, said after the verdict that she and her husband, Alva, have each been battling cancer for the last nine years.

Monsanto was initially ordered to pay $289 million to Johnson, before the damages were reduced to United States dollars 78.5 million.

"The verdict in this trial has no impact on future cases and trials, as each one has its own factual and legal circumstances", the company said.

That figure, which consists of $3 billion in punitive damages and $79 million in compensatory ones, is all but certain to be reduced by the trial judge or on appeal-University of California, Hastings School of Law professor David Levine told the Associated Press there is "There is zero chance it will stand". The court didn't propose a ratio it felt correct, but said punitive damages should nearly never exceed nine times actual damages, it said.

Bayer's stock price closed Monday at $15.91 a share, down 45 cents or 2.76 percent per share, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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