Couple awarded $2 billion following Roundup cancer claim

Couple awarded $2 billion following Roundup cancer claim

The jury agreed, awarding the couple $1 billion each in punitive damages for a total of $2 billion.

On Monday, a jury in Oakland, California, said Bayer was liable for plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod contracting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. They were also awarded $55 million in compensatory damages.

Last August, another Californian man was awarded $289m after a jury also found Roundup caused his cancer.

German agro-chemicals and drugs giant Bayer announced last month that more than 13,000 lawsuits related to the weedkiller had been launched in the United States.

Two other California residents successfully sued Bayer in Roundup cancer cases.

After three jury verdicts in California, a trial is scheduled for August in St. Louis County in Missouri, the site of Monsanto's former headquarters.

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.

Bayer released a statement saying it is disappointed with the jury's decision and will file an appeal.

Alva and Alberta Pilliod claimed they used Roundup for more than 30 years to landscape their home and other properties. "USDA applauds EPA's proposed registration decision as it is science-based and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans".

Brent Wisner, a lawyer for the Pilliods, at a news conference following the verdict said Bayer had to take responsibility for its product.

Bayer, which was chided by investors for the stock rout at the annual general meeting this month, has said the litigation has had no effect on strong demand from US lawn and garden owners for its glyphosate-based herbicides, adding that demand from USA farmers continued to be driven by the weather.

"We've been fighting cancer for nine years. We really resent Monsanto for that", Pilliod said.

The prior two jury verdicts against Bayer in Roundup trials in the U.S. triggered steep declines in Bayer shares. On appeal a judge later slashed that payout to $78 million.

Bayer said Monday that it would appeal the verdict.

"This is not the end of this litigation", he said.

The verdict represents the third such legal setback for the company in California since mid-2018. Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014 and regularly spraying a high-concentration version of Roundup known as Ranger Pro as part of his job from 2012 to 2016. 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.

The jury ruled the company had acted negligently, failing to warn of the risks associated with the product. Bayer denies those allegations.

The World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) did deem Roundup a probable carcinogen in 2015-and though the evidence was mixed and partially based on animal studies, some scientific research has backed that classification. I mean, people smoke cigaretes, but right there on the label it says you know "may cause cancer".

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