Fate of Roundup Lawsuit Hangs in the Balance as Delaware Jury Deadlocks

Dover, Del. — The latest lawsuit accusing the popular weedkiller Roundup of causing cancer has ended in a mistrial. After three days of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, prompting the Delaware judge to declare a mistrial. The lawsuit was filed by the family of Anthony Cloud, a landscaper from South Carolina who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2018 and passed away in October 2021, just weeks after filing the lawsuit. The family sought $142 million in punitive damages.

German chemical company Bayer AG, which acquired Roundup’s manufacturer Monsanto in 2018, has faced tens of thousands of lawsuits linked to the weedkiller. In January, a Philadelphia jury ordered Bayer to pay a staggering $2.3 billion in damages to a man diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup for twenty years. This verdict, along with a previous one in Missouri that ordered Bayer to pay over $1.5 billion in damages to three plaintiffs, contributed to the mounting legal challenges for the company.

Bayer had set aside over $10 billion in 2020 to settle approximately 125,000 Roundup lawsuits, but many more cases are still pending. The company experienced a series of legal setbacks in 2021, as juries began awarding substantial damages to plaintiffs. In one California case, Bayer was initially ordered to pay $332 million, but the amount was later reduced by a judge to $28 million. The plaintiffs in the Delaware lawsuit, like others, claimed that Monsanto had negligently designed Roundup and failed to provide sufficient warnings about its potential health risks.

In addition to these legal battles, Bayer reached a $7 million settlement in June to resolve allegations by New York’s attorney general regarding Monsanto’s deceptive statements about the safety of Roundup. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court in 2022 ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its 2020 finding that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, posed no health risk to those exposed to it.

The mistrial in the Delaware lawsuit adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing legal saga surrounding Roundup. As Bayer continues to grapple with a significant number of pending lawsuits, its financial and reputational challenges persist.