Couple awarded $2B in Round-Up court case

Couple awarded $2B in Round-Up court case

The jury's verdict on Monday was the third such courtroom loss for Monsanto concerning the chemical, which Bayer acquired as part of its $63bn purchase of the company past year.

The jury in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland on Monday said the company was liable for plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod's contracting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a spokeswoman for the couple said.

The Pilliods said they had used the Roundup herbicide on their yard and other properties for decades. In addition to US$1 billion for each spouse, the jury awarded damages of about $55 million for the couple's medical bills and pain and suffering.

The level of punitive damages may be reduced on appeal, but right now it's the eighth-biggest product-defect jury award in US history.

This follows almost six weeks of testimony followed by closing arguments last Wednesday.

Most lymphoma cases have no known cause, according to the American Cancer Society.

Pillioid says they wish Monsanto had proper labelling on their round up containers for the potential life-altering dangers with using it.

The company said both Alva and Alberta Pilliod had long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to Reuters.

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"Juries informed by independent science have repeatedly rejected the Monsanto-promoted myth that glyphosate poses no cancer risks", Center for Biological Diversity senior scientist Nathan Donley told BuzzFeed in a statement. A judge later reduced the award by $200 million. "Bayer must also wonder if Monsanto deployed the same underhanded tactics during their courtship that courtroom disclosures have shown permeated its corporate culture: deep deception, prevarication and denial in a headlong pursuit of profit, human and environmental consequences be damned".

Monday's stunning verdict came as Bayer admitted that its subsidiary Monsanto kept lists of high-profile people - for or against pesticides - in France and likely other European countries.

Glyphosate was developed by Monsanto in the U.S. in the 1970s and has become one of the most widely used ingredients in weed killers worldwide. The verdict puts the onus on Bayer to alter its defense course and consider a settlement: litigation concerns have eroded Bayer's value by more than 40 per cent since the deal was sealed in June.

A San Francisco state court jury in August 2018 awarded $289 million to a California groundskeeper, finding Monsanto's glyphosate-based weed killers caused his cancer.

In March, the company lost another case to an American retiree who blames his cancer on the weedkiller, and was ordered by a court to pay $80 million to the plaintiff.

"We were of the opinion that the reports of these dealings with journalists, politicians and activists are not in order and not in agreement with what Bayer stands for".

The lawsuits have battered Bayer's stock since it purchased Monsanto for $63 billion past year and Bayer's top managers are facing shareholder discontent.

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