Monsanto ordered to pay $2 billion in Roundup case

An Alameda jury in the case of Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto Company returned a verdict of $2.055 billion in favor of a husband and wife with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, ordering Monsanto to pay $55 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages ($1 billion each for Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod) for failing to warn consumers that exposure to Roundup weed killer causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

The verdict is the third in a row against Monsanto (now Bayer). Combined with the first two legal defeats (the Johnson v. Monsanto verdict of $289.2M and the Hardeman v. Monsanto verdict of $80M), verdicts against Monsanto in the Roundup cancer litigation now stand at $2.424 billion with 13,400 cases still pending in state and federal courts. (Johnson’s verdict was later reduced to $78.5M but his verdict is on appeal.)

Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a Livermore, California couple in their 70s, used Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer together for more than 30 years to landscape their home and other properties. They were both diagnosed with the same type of NHL, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), associated with Roundup exposure. In 2011, Alva was diagnosed with systemic NHL in many of his bones, which spread to his pelvis and spine. Alberta was diagnosed with NHL brain cancer in 2015.

In their Roundup cancer lawsuit, the couple attributed their cancer diagnoses on exposure to Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, and accused Monsanto of fraudulently representing that Roundup is safe despite scientific evidence linking exposure to NHL.

After approximately 7 weeks of trial proceedings, the jury found that exposure to Roundup caused the Pilliods to develop NHL and that Monsanto failed to warn of this severe health hazard. The jury also found that Monsanto acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct. Click here for more information on the court case.

Bayer disappointed
Bayer shares it is disappointed with the jury’s decision and will appeal the verdict in this case, "which conflicts directly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s interim registration review decision released just last month, the consensus among leading health regulators worldwide that glyphosate-based products can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, and the 40 years of extensive scientific research on which their favorable conclusions are based.

"We have great sympathy for Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod, but the evidence in this case was clear that both have long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), most NHL has no known cause, and there is not reliable scientific evidence to conclude that glyphosate-based herbicides were the 'but for' cause of their illnesses as the jury was required to find in this case." Read the full statement from Bayer here.

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