A jury has ordered agribusiness behemoth Monsanto to pay more than $2 billion to a couple who claim the company's Roundup weed killer caused their cancers.
Alva and Alberta Pilliod both contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma because of their use of the glyphosate-based herbicide, the jury ruled. They were each awarded $1 billion in punitive damages in addition to a combined $55 million in compensatory damages.
Monsanto keeps losing in court.
This is the third recent courtroom loss for Monsanto in California since August that involved claims that Roundup causes cancer.
Last August, a San Francisco jury awarded $289 million to Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old former groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma after spraying Roundup weed killer for two and a half years. Notably, the jury found that Monsanto "acted with malice, oppression, and fraud." A judge later reduced the award to $78 million.
In March of this year, a federal jury in San Francisco awarded $80 million to 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman, who claims his cancer was caused by his extensive use of Roundup. Hardeman had used Roundup on his 56-acre property for more than two decades, according to his lawsuit.
Hardeman's trial may be more significant than Johnson's case, reports the Associated Press:
U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria is overseeing hundreds of Roundup lawsuits and has deemed Hardeman's case and two others "bellwether trials."
The outcome of such cases can help attorneys decide whether to keep fighting similar lawsuits or settle them. Legal experts said verdicts in favor of Hardeman and the other test plaintiffs would give their attorneys a strong bargaining position in any settlement talks for the remaining cases before Chhabria. (source)