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California Jury Awards 2 Billion In Favor Of Couple In Roundup Cancer Trial

A California jury has awarded a $2.055 billion verdict in favor of a California couple, finding Monsanto’s product Roundup likely caused the couple’s cancer.  Pilliod v. Monsanto Co., Case No. RG-1786272 (Cal. Super. Ct., Alameda Division).  This is Bayer AG’s third consecutive Roundup trial loss since mid-2018 in cases involving claims the product caused cancer.

The couple alleged that decades of spraying Roundup on their four properties caused them to develop aggressive cancer.  Experts for each side gave starkly differing opinions on the weed killer’s skin absorption rates and the science finding Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, causes cancer.

After a five-week trial and two days of deliberation, the jury found the couple more likely than not contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of their exposure to Roundup and held Monsanto liable for negligence and design defect claims.  Each plaintiff was awarded $1 billion in punitive damages and collectively $55 million was awarded in compensatory damages. 

In March, a San Francisco jury awarded $80 million to a man who blamed his cancer on his extensive use of Roundup. In August 2018, another San Francisco jury awarded $289 million to a fourth plaintiff. On appeal the verdict was reduced to $78 million

More than 13,000 lawsuits are pending against Monsanto.  The next trial is scheduled for August 2019 in St. Louis County in Missouri, the site of Monsanto’s former headquarters.