Dramatic Mistrial Declared in Landscaper’s Lawsuit Alleging Roundup Weedkiller Causes Cancer

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A mistrial was declared on Friday in the latest lawsuit claiming that the widely used herbicide Roundup causes cancer. The decision was made by a Delaware judge after the jury announced that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict following three days of deliberation. Despite the judge’s order to continue their discussions, the jurors remained deadlocked.

The lawsuit was filed by the family of Anthony Cloud, a former landscaper from South Carolina who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2018. Unfortunately, Cloud passed away in October 2021, just six weeks after the lawsuit was filed. The family sought $142 million in punitive damages during the trial that began in February in Wilmington.

Since acquiring Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto, in 2018, German chemical company Bayer AG has faced tens of thousands of lawsuits. In January, Bayer was ordered by a Philadelphia jury to pay an astounding $2.3 billion in a Roundup-related lawsuit. The plaintiff had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using the herbicide for twenty years. This verdict became the largest in the ongoing litigation over Roundup, following a similar ruling in November by a Missouri jury that ordered Bayer to pay over $1.5 billion in damages to three plaintiffs. In 2019, a California jury initially ordered Bayer to pay $2 billion, but the judge later reduced the amount to $87 million.

To settle approximately 125,000 Roundup lawsuits, Bayer set aside more than $10 billion in 2020. However, there are still tens of thousands of cases pending. Last year, the company faced legal setbacks after a series of trial wins in previous years. Juries began awarding plaintiffs nine and ten-figure amounts. For instance, a California jury ordered Bayer to pay $332 million in a Roundup lawsuit, but a judge later reduced this sum to $28 million, claiming the original amount was excessive.

The Delaware case, like others, argued that Monsanto had defectively designed Roundup and failed to adequately warn users about its potential health risks. In June, Bayer agreed to pay nearly $7 million in a settlement with New York’s attorney general, who accused Monsanto of making false and misleading statements about Roundup’s safety.

In another development, a federal appeals court in 2022 ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its 2020 finding that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, did not pose a risk to human health for those exposed to it.

This mistrial marks another setback for Bayer in its ongoing legal battles over Roundup, further highlighting the controversies surrounding the herbicide’s safety and potential health risks.