Jury hands down $2.25 billion verdict to Bayer in Roundup weed killer case

John McKivison sued Bayer because he believes he developed cancer after using Roundup on his property for two decades,

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A Pennsylvania jury found Roundup, an herbicide, caused a man’s cancer in the case against Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer. Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, was ordered to pay the plaintiff, John McKivison, 49, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, $2.25 billion.

McKivison sued Bayer because he believes he developed cancer after using Roundup on his property for two decades, his attorneys with Kline & Specter law firm said in a press release.

“The jury’s unanimous verdict was a condemnation of 50 years of misconduct by Monsanto and a declaration that its misconduct was in reckless disregard of human safety and a substantial cause of John McKivison’s cancer,” Tom Kline and Jason Itkin, McKivison’s attorneys, said.

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said glyphosate—a main ingredient in Roundup—is “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015 and since then, there have been hundreds of cases against Monsanto in which the German-based company has paid plaintiffs more than $10 billion in settlements.

While plaintiffs accused the company of failing to warn consumers of the risk of using their products, Bayer said it plans to appeal the most recent verdict in an effort to get the “unconstitutionally excessive damage award eliminated or reduced.”

“While we have great sympathy for the plaintiff in this case, we are confident that our products can be used safely and are not carcinogenic, consistent with the assessments of expert regulators worldwide,” the company said.

In 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it found “no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label” and said glyphosate is “unlikely to be a human carcinogen.” But the American Cancer Society said, while research is ongoing to “clarify” any risks, non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been linked to exposure to particular chemicals in herbicides and insecticides.

“The jury’s punitive damages award sends a clear message that this multinational corporation needs top to bottom change,” Kline and Itkin said.

There are more lawsuits against Bayer’s Roundup to stand trail later this year.

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