July 3, 2019
Following a jury award that saw two Roundup lawsuit plaintiffs awarded more than $1 billion each, Bayer asked a California judge to overturn the Roundup jury award. The company, which purchased Monsanto, submitted the motion arguing that the plaintiffs did not provide evidence that supported the jury’s Roundup verdict. The landmark Roundup award was the third large award handed out to Roundup plaintiffs, and Bayer still faces more than 13,000 lawsuits filed by plaintiffs across the US who allege the herbicide caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Meanwhile, Bayer has reportedly put aside billions of dollars to fund research into non-glyphosate-based herbicides.
Pilliods Awarded More than $1 Billion Each
Alva and Alberta Pilliod were each awarded $1 billion in punitive damages after the two alleged they developed Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from years of spraying the chemical, whose active ingredient is glyphosate. Additionally, Alva was awarded $18 million in compensatory damages and Alberta was awarded $37 million in compensatory damages.
The plaintiffs testified that they believed the chemical was safe thanks to Monsanto’s Roundup marketing that claimed it was not harmful to humans. That marketing, they argued, led them to spray Roundup repeatedly for years on various properties they owned. They say they used the herbicide without using protective gear believing it was not harmful to them.
Bayer, calling the punitive damages excessive, has now asked Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith to reverse the jury’s Monsanto Roundup verdict and either enter a judgment in favor of Bayer or order a new trial, and to either dismiss the punitive damages or drastically reduce them. In requesting a reversal of the Roundup lawsuit verdict, the company argued that the plaintiffs entered irrelevant evidence at the trial.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs submitted evidence that Monsanto advised its own employees to wear protective gear when working with Roundup.
In March 2019, a jury awarded $80 million to a man who alleged his use of Roundup resulted in developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In August 2018, a jury awarded a former groundskeeper $289 million, which a judge later reduced to $78.5 million.
The next lawsuit to go to court is scheduled for trial in August 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. A US judge overseeing the federal Monsanto lawsuits has appointed a mediator to lead talks between the company and plaintiffs.
Bayer Looking into Glyphosate Alternatives
While regulators disagree on how toxic glyphosate is, with the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classifying the herbicide as probably carcinogenic, Bayer has now committed $5.6 billion into research and development to explore glyphosate alternatives. The company continues to maintain glyphosate is safe, despite facing more than 13,000 lawsuits alleging the opposite.
Although it continues its stance that glyphosate is safe, Bayer opened a news release on its website with the phrases “We listened. We learned.” The release then details the company’s commitment to transparency, sustainability and engagement.
Recent research indicates that glyphosate is more toxic than initially thought, suggesting links between Roundup and cancer and possibly other significant health problems. Studies indicate glyphosate is still detectable in water, soil and food supplies longer than initially believed, putting people at risk of glyphosate exposure even if they have not directly sprayed the herbicide. Worryingly, evidence is now coming forward that mammals that are generations removed from initial exposure may suffer glyphosate-related diseases.
Monsanto argued glyphosate is safe because it restricts a biochemical pathway that only plants have, but that does not mean glyphosate does not affect animals at all, only that it does not impact them in the same way it impacts plants. Some studies suggest rodents suffered liver and kidney damage after glyphosate exposure while young pigs showed evidence of congenital malformations.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has refused to classify glyphosate as carcinogenic, but according to reports the agency’s decision comes based on studies and opinions from researchers linked to the agriculture industry. Furthermore, those studies were often supplied by the industry and were not peer-reviewed.
If you or a loved one has been affected by the use of Roundup, you need a highly skilled, experienced attorney with a proven track record of holding large corporations accountable for their greed. Attorneys at Patterson Dahlberg have spent decades fighting for people whose lives have been upended by corporate negligence and companies who prize profits over safety.
We have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients by refusing to back down. Our clients trust us to conduct thorough investigations and develop the strongest case possible to maximize their claim and get them justice. Our attorneys put the same dedication, compassion and hard work into every personal injury claim. We are here to help you through this difficult time.
Contact an attorney at Patterson Dahlberg today to get started on your Roundup claim. Fill out an online form or call us at 507-424-3000 for a free case evaluation.