LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- A jury in Jefferson City, Missouri, awarded $1.6 billion in punitive damages to four plaintiffs last week who claimed using glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide caused cancer and other injuries.
The verdict on Nov. 17 came at a time when Bayer is grappling with company reorganization, https://www.dtnpf.com/….
Plaintiffs Daniel Anderson of California, New York resident Valorie Gunther and Missouri residents Jimmy and Brenda Draeger each were awarded $500 million in punitive damages and a total of about $61 million in compensation, according to court documents from the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Cole County, Missouri.
All of the plaintiffs were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, alleging in the complaints the cancer in their lymphoma systems was caused from their use of Roundup for many years.
In a statement to DTN, Bayer said it believes it has "strong arguments" to get the recent verdicts overturned and the damages "eliminated or greatly reduced."
"In contrast to prior trials, recent trial courts improperly permitted plaintiffs to misrepresent the worldwide regulatory and scientific support for our products by falsely characterizing the EU's reapproval process and EPA's assessment of glyphosate as safety concerns," the company said.
"Additionally, the Ninth Circuit (court of appeals) just this month concluded 'IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) stands essentially alone in its determination that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans, while EPA, OEHHA (California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment), and regulators from around the world conclude that it is not.' "
Just last week, the European Commission announced it would renew glyphosate's approval for 10 more years after EU member states were unable to reach a majority opinion on the extension.
In 2015, the World Health Organization cancer research agency concluded glyphosate was probably carcinogenic to humans. That conclusion stands in contrast to many agencies around the world, including the U.S. EPA, that classifies the chemical as non-carcinogenic.
Bayer announced a $2 billion Roundup settlement in June 2020 to cover future claims.
Bayer acquired Roundup brands as part of its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto. Bayer continues to maintain that glyphosate is safe, regularly pointing out the EPA and many other countries' regulatory agencies support the chemical's continued use.
In its latest quarterly financial report, Bayer said as of Oct. 10, 2023, the company had settled or was close to settling about 113,000 of 165,000 claims filed.
Bayer has two appeals pending in federal court on preemption grounds.
In July 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for 11th Circuit ruled that a three-judge panel conducted an incorrect analysis on the case filed by John Carson and sent it back to the panel for review. In August 2023, the three-judge panel granted the company's motion for supplemental briefing.
Bayer also has a second appeal pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
In September 2023, a jury in Cook County, Illinois, issued a verdict in Bayer's favor, determining that neither Roundup nor polychlorinated biphenyl caused the plaintiff's cancer.
Also in September, a judge in a St. Louis County, Missouri, case ruled the plaintiff failed to prove a case was submissible.
In May 2019, a California jury awarded $2.055 billion in damages to a couple that has battled cancer after decades of using Roundup. The couple, both in their 70s, were each diagnosed with the same type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The court later reduced the damages to $86.7 million.
At the end of March 2019, a California jury awarded $80 million to a man with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had used glyphosate at an animal refuge for nearly 30 years. A court later reduced the damages to $25.2 million.
In 2018, another jury in the state awarded $289 million to a groundskeeper with cancer who used the chemical. The award has since been reduced to $20.5 million.
Read more on DTN:
"Supreme Court Rejects Roundup Petition," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
"Bayer: New Roundup Settlements Unlikely," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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