Jury awards $2 billion to Livermore couple who says Roundup caused cancer

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

A California jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, in the largest us jury verdict to date against the company in litigation over the chemical.

The jury awarded each of them $1bn in punitive damages as well as a total of $55m in compensatory damages.

It's the largest jury award in the U.S.so far this year and the eighth-largest ever in a product-defect claim, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bayer in a statement on Monday said it was disappointed with the verdict and will appeal.

Bayer released a statement on its Twitter page after the jury's verdict in California and has repeatedly said that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is safe. The lawsuits began piling up after a key 2015 ruling by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, which said glyphosate was "probably carcinogenic to humans".

In the first two cases, a San Francisco Superior Court jury past year awarded former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson of Vallejo $289 million, later reduced by the trial judge to $78 million.

In March, a federal jury in San Francisco awarded $80m to another California man after finding Roundup caused his cancer.

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A jury in state court in Oakland, Calif., issued the verdict Monday after two other California trials over the herbicide yielded combined damages of $159 million against the company.

Alva and Alberta Pilliod, who are in their 70s, claimed they used Roundup for more than 30 years to landscape their home and other properties, without protective gear.

The next jury trial in the glyphosate litigation is scheduled for August in Missouri state court, the first time a jury outside of California will hear a Roundup case.

They filed their lawsuit in 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and 2015, respectively.

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

"Unlike the first two Monsanto trials, where the judges severely limited the amount of plaintiffs' evidence, we were finally allowed to show a jury the mountain of evidence showing Monsanto's manipulation of science, the media and regulatory agencies to forward their own agenda despite Roundup's severe harm to the animal kingdom and humankind", said laywer Michael Miller, who was co-lead trial counsel along with Wisner. "By now, most Bayer executives, its board and shareholders must all be questioning the decision to acquire Monsanto and its mounting liability over its cancer-causing weedkiller". That was later reduced to $78 million. The company is appealing the two previous verdicts in Roundup cases, and it said it would appeal this verdict as well. Both are in remission but testified about lasting damage from the cancer.

The award was the latest in a series of court defeats for Monsanto over Roundup.

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