An Oakland, California jury has ordered Monsanto to pay a couple more than USD 2 Billion after determining its Roundup weed killer caused their cancer. The verdict includes USD 2 Billion in punitive damages, plus as additional USD 55 Million for pain and suffering. Bayer (OTC: BAYRY), the parent company of Monsanto, said it will appeal the verdict. It claims the jury was presented with “cherry-picked findings” from a small fraction of literature available on glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Roundup.
The plaintiffs, 76-year-old Alva and 74-year-old Alberta Pilliod, used the weed killer on their property for about 30 years, which the jury decided played a serious role in their development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The couple was diagnosed four years apart.
Bayer stands firm in its belief that glyphosate is safe. This claim was backed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month. “EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” said administrator Andrew Wheeler. This conclusion is based on over 800 studies on glyphosate and Bayer’s glyphosate-based herbicides.
Monday’s decision marks the third case related to Roundup that Monsanto has lost in the state of California. Its first Roundup trial concluded in August of last year. The Company was held liable after jurors ruled the popular weed killer gave a former school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, terminal cancer. Monsanto was ordered to pay USD 78 Million. In March of this year, the Company was ordered to pay USD 80 Million to plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015.
Thousands of additional lawsuits against Monsanto are awaiting trial in state and federal courts.