Monsanto ordered to pay $2 bn in new Roundup trial

The trials were the first of an estimated 13,000 lawsuits against Monsanto

TOM DILLANE STUFFThe trials were the first of an estimated 13,000 lawsuits against Monsanto

Pointing out deliberate negligence by the company, the jury went on to award $18 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages to Alva Pilliod.

Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group said "The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate". "The contrast between today's verdict and EPA's conclusion that there are "no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate" could not be more stark".

The verdict will be vulnerable to a legal challenge by Bayer because courts have generally held that punitive damages shouldn't be more than 10 times higher than compensatory damages.

It comes after a landmark court ruling in the USA saw Monsanto ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for causing a man's cancer.

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, according to Hedlund Law.

If plaintiffs continue to win cases decided by juries in Missouri, the momentum in their favor "may push Bayer to begin to negotiate", she said.

On Monday, a jury in Oakland, California, said Bayer was liable for plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod contracting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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The juries have repeatedly ruled that Roundup was defectively designed, that the company failed to warn consumers about the cancer risks, and that Monsanto has acted negligently.

"Unlike the first two Monsanto trials, where the judges severely limited the amount of plaintiffs' evidence, we were finally allowed to show a jury the mountain of evidence showing Monsanto's manipulation of science, the media and regulatory agencies to forward their own agenda despite Roundup's severe harm to the animal kingdom and humankind", said attorney Michael Miller, who was co-lead trial counsel along with Wisner.

The decision Monday marked the third defeat in court for Monsanto in California since August. It insists that Roundup is safe to use. That was later reduced to $78 million. Both of them are now in remission, but their trial had been expedited due to the risk of a relapse and potentially short life expectancy.

The company said it will appeal. Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper with terminal cancer, won a $289m victory in state court last year, and Edwin Hardeman, who sprayed Roundup on his properties, was awarded $80m in the first federal trial this year.

A 2017 Reuters investigatihere found that the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer had dismissed and edited out "non-carcinogenic" findings that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer.

The company noted that none of the California verdicts has been considered by an appeals court and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers the weed killer safe.

The EPA reaffirmed its position in April, saying that the active ingredient glyphosate found in the weed killer posed "no risks of concern" for people exposed to it by any means.

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