Pennsylvania Jury Awards $2.25 Billion Verdict Against Monsanto and Bayer in Roundup Cancer Case

Philadelphia, PA – In a landmark decision, a Pennsylvania jury has ordered Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, to pay a staggering $2.25 billion in damages after ruling that the popular herbicide Roundup caused a man’s cancer. The plaintiff, John McKivison, 49, filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was a direct result of using Roundup on his property for over twenty years.

The jury’s verdict was reached in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and includes $2 billion in punitive damages. According to McKivison’s attorneys at Kline & Specter law firm, the jury determined that Roundup is a defective product that causes cancer. They also found Monsanto negligent for failing to disclose the dangers associated with the weed killer. “The jury’s unanimous verdict was a condemnation of 50 years of misconduct by Monsanto and a declaration that its misconduct was in reckless disregard of human safety and a substantial cause of John McKivison’s cancer,” stated McKivison’s attorneys, Tom Kline and Jason Itkin.

Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, has expressed its intention to appeal the verdict. The company believes that the excessive damage award will be eliminated or reduced upon appeal. In a statement, Bayer expressed sympathy for McKivison but maintained that its products are safe and not carcinogenic, aligning with the assessments of global regulatory authorities.

The controversy surrounding Roundup dates back to a 2015 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), which suggested that the key ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, could potentially cause cancer. Despite this report, Monsanto has continued to sell the herbicide, asserting that it does not pose a cancer risk. The company has challenged the validity of the WHO report and contends that other studies offering evidence of glyphosate’s safety far outnumber those suggesting a connection to cancer.

Both the US Environmental Protection Agency and the European Commission have dismissed the idea of glyphosate as a carcinogen. The US EPA’s 2020 evaluation found no risks to human health when glyphosate is used as directed. Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society acknowledges that the cause of most lymphomas remains unknown but recognizes a potential link between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and exposure to certain chemicals found in herbicides and insecticides.

This is not the first time Monsanto has faced legal action over Roundup. The company has paid over $10 billion in settlements to thousands of cancer patients who claim that Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that Monsanto failed to adequately warn consumers of the associated risks. While most of the Roundup cases have been resolved through settlements, a few have gone to trial with substantial financial awards granted to the plaintiffs. However, judges have often reduced these awards, deeming them excessive.

In conclusion, the recent $2.25 billion verdict against Monsanto and Bayer signifies a significant blow to the companies, reinforcing the belief that Roundup has potentially caused harm to consumers. As the legal battle continues, the debate surrounding the safety of glyphosate and the responsibility of agrochemical companies like Monsanto to disclose risks remains at the forefront.