Monsanto Ordered to Pay a Record $2 Billion in Latest Cancer Verdict

May 18, 2019 at 2:09 pm

Roundup weedkiller has been found guilty of causing cancer again, this time it could cost $2 billion

A California jury has found Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller responsible for causing a husband and wife’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma after the couple used the product at their home and other properties for 30 years.

Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant that bought Monsanto last year, has been ordered to pay the couple over $2 billion, in the third and largest verdict against the company over the world’s most popular weedkiller.

The first $289 million dollar award went to Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper with NHL last year. The California jury’s award was later reduced in appeals court.

The second $80 million award went to Edwin Hardeman, who sprayed Roundup on his properties before contracting NHL, in the first federal trial this year.

Plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod were awarded $1 billion each in damages and $55 million to compensate for cancer-related expenses.

Though the damages will likely be reduced in appeals court, The Guardian reports that the enormous verdict will increase pressure on Bayer, whose stock prices are continuing to drop  as the verdicts roll in, and who is now facing similar lawsuits from over 13,000 NHL patients, survivors and families who’ve lost loved ones.

In all three cases, the juries have ruled that Monsanto covered up research linking glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“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 Michael Miller, another attorney for the couple.

Bayer said it was “disappointed” in the decision and would appeal. The company cited the continuing approval of glyphosate by the EPA.

Documents uncovered in the trials that have reveal Monsanto’s  incestuous relationship with EPA officials may explain the agency’s support.

The lawsuits against the company began piling up after a 2015 ruling by the World Health Organization that deemed glyphosate “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

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