Jury Awards $2.2B in Roundup Landscaper Lawsuit Over Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Diagnosis
A Pennsylvania jury has determined that Bayer and its Monsanto subsidiary should be required to pay $2.2 billion in damages to a landscaper diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after regular exposure to the controversial weedkiller Roundup, including punitive damages intended to punish the manufacturer for disregarding the health and safety of consumers.
Although Bayer has been hit with several massive jury verdicts, and has paid more than $10 billion in settlements to resolve individual cases, the verdict is the largest returned by a jury to date, and sends a strong signal to the manufacturers, who continue to face thousands of claims being pursued by former users of Roundup nationwide.
Over the past eight years, more than 120,000 Roundup lawsuits have been filed throughout the U.S., each raising similar allegations that users were not adequately warned about the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from the weed killer, either when using the product in an agricultural setting or around the home.
The litigation emerged in 2015, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decided to classify glyphosate in Roundup as a probable cancer-causing agent. However, even after resolving tens of thousands of cases, Bayer and Monsanto continue to face a steady stream of jury trials involving plaintiffs who rejected settlement offers, as well as new claims that continue to be filed as former users develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This latest jury verdict came on Friday in Philadelphia, involving a product liability lawsuit filed by John McKivison, who indicated his cancer was the result of Roundup exposure both as a landscaper and due to his use of the weed killer at home.
The jury awarded McKivison $250 million in compensatory damages, and another $2 billion in punitive damages designed to punish the manufacturers for needlessly endangering consumers.
Bayer has indicated it plans to appeal the verdict to get it overturned, saying that the scientific evidence does not support the jury’s determination and that the amount is excessive. Many observers believe that the amount will be reduced on appeal.
January 2024 Roundup Lawsuit Update
While the outcome of this latest trial will not have any binding impact on other claims awaiting trial, it was being closely watched to help gauge how juries in state courts nationwide may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the remaining litigation.
Most of the U.S. cases are currently pending in Missouri state court, where Monsanto’s U.S. headquarters are located and it remains a major employer. The next trial is scheduled to begin in early February in Delaware.
In addition to the state court litigation, hundreds of claims are currently centralized in the federal court system before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California, where several large waves of claims are being prepared for remand to different federal district court for trial.
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