Bayer’s Multimillion-Dollar Roundup Verdict Significantly Reduced, But Controversy Looms

SAN FRANCISCO, California – In a landmark decision, a California judge has dramatically reduced the verdict against Bayer regarding their Roundup weedkiller. The company was originally ordered to pay $332 million in damages to a couple who claimed that the product caused them to develop cancer. However, the judge has now slashed the verdict by over 90%.

The case involved Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a couple who used Roundup for more than three decades. They alleged that their exposure to the herbicide caused them both to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Last year, a jury sided with the Pilliods and awarded them $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages.

Bayer, the German pharmaceutical and chemical giant that acquired Roundup’s original maker, Monsanto, in 2018, has faced thousands of lawsuits over the herbicide’s alleged cancer risks. This latest verdict reduction will come as a relief to the company, which has seen its stock price plummet in recent years due to the Roundup litigation.

The judge cited the excessive nature of the original award as the basis for his decision to significantly reduce the damages. While the jury’s ruling included an extraordinary amount in punitive damages, the judge ruled that a fair and reasonable amount for punitive damages in this case would be $33 million, bringing the overall award down to $87 million.

However, despite the reduction, Bayer’s legal battle is far from over. The company still faces more than 50,000 lawsuits from individuals who claim that Roundup caused their cancer. Bayer plans to appeal this latest decision and continues to assert the safety of Roundup, pointing to regulatory agencies around the world who have deemed the herbicide safe for use.

The outcome of this case and others like it will likely have significant implications for both Bayer and the wider agrochemical industry. The controversy surrounding Roundup has sparked public concern and debate over the safety of chemical herbicides. As the lawsuits against Bayer continue to mount, the company will be closely watching the legal landscape and its potential impact on future litigation.