Bayer AG doesn’t want to pay $86 million in damages to an elderly couple who claim exposure to the company’s Roundup weed killer caused them cancer.
In May, a California jury slapped Bayer with an eye-popping $2.055 billion verdict in the case of Alberta and Alva Pilliod, who said they used Roundup liberally on their property for years. They claimed glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer, caused them both to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The chemical is classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. The trial judge later reduced the award to $86 million.
Despite the dramatic reduction, Bayer is asking a California appeals court to overturn the verdict on the grounds that the jury’s decision “defied both law and science.” Just last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reaffirmed its stance on glyphosate, saying it is probably not carcinogenic.
This contradicts the World Health Organization’s specialized cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which in March 2015 listed glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and pointed to evidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from human exposure to glyphosate, mostly from agricultural means, in the United States, Canada and Sweden since 2001.
The Pilliod’s case was the third to be tried among more than 42,700 Bayer faces over Roundup cancer claims. The first resulted in a $285 million verdict, which was later reduced to $78 million. The second case resulted in an $80 million verdict, which was later trimmed to $25.5 million. Bayer has agreed to postpone at least six subsequent trials as it works through a possible global settlement with mediator Ken Feinberg.
Bayer acquired Roundup maker Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion.
Beasley Allen lawyers are currently representing clients who have been exposed to Roundup weed killer and developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. For more information, contact a member of our Roundup Litigation Team: John Tomlinson (who heads up the team), Michael Dunphy, Danielle Ingram or Rhon Jones, all lawyers in our Toxic Torts Section.