California Jury Awards $2 Billion In Roundup Lawsuit

A California jury awarded over $2 billion on May 13th, 2019, to a husband and wife who claimed that the herbicide Roundup caused them to develop Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This  jury award is the largest to date in a Roundup lawsuit. The couple, now in their seventies, had been using Roundup since the 1970s.

A Bayer lawyer asked a juror after the verdict what the jury panel desired to hear from Bayer. The juror responded, “I wanted you to get up and drink it.” A lobbyist for Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, once claimed that one could drink an entire quart of Monsanto and not be harmed, but when offered some to drink, declined, saying, “I’m not an idiot.” Bayer acquired Monsanto in 2018.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was first linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in a 1999 study which recommended that Roundup be studied more closely. Swedish scientists paid heed to the recommendation. Their 2002 study found that Roundup use tripled the risk of acquiring Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Several other studies have since confirmed the link between glyphosate and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The jury was presented with internal Monsanto documents showing that, despite mounting evidence of Roundup’s cancer risk, Monsanto had zero interest in determining the safety of Roundup, according to a lawyer for the plaintiffs. The documents showed that Monsanto spent millions of dollars attacking and manipulating scientific studies in an effort to mislead regulatory agencies and the media, the lawyer said. Internal Monsanto emails released in 2017 show that Monsanto actively recruited scientists to write reports favorable to the safety of Roundup. The emails also seem to suggest possible collusion between Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This is the third Roundup case in which a jury has ruled against Bayer. A March 2019 verdict saw a California man awarded $80 million, and an August 2018 verdict awarded $289 million to another California plaintiff. The latter award was later reduced to $78 million. Both California plaintiffs had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Bayer shares, which have dropped over 45% in the last year, dropped 2% the day after the $2 billion verdict. Bayer’s drop in shares is due to the company’s purchase of Monsanto, which potentially makes Bayer liable in the upcoming lawsuits of about 13,400 plaintiffs.

The attorneys of Nadrich & Cohen continue to actively pursue Roundup Lawsuits on behalf individuals who have been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma following use of and exposure to Roundup.

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