Roundup Plaintiffs Secure $3.5 Million Verdict as Jury Sends a Strong Message to Monsanto and Nouryon

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – In a recent trial, Roundup plaintiffs achieved yet another victory, as a Philadelphia jury awarded a $3.5 million verdict. The jury found both Monsanto and Pennsylvania-based chemical manufacturer Nouryon responsible for the harm caused by Roundup. Specifically, the jury awarded $500,000 in compensatory damages against Monsanto and Nouryon and $3 million in punitive damages against Monsanto. This verdict marks the fifth consecutive trial win for Roundup plaintiffs within the past month and a half.

Plaintiff Kelly Martel claimed to have developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a result of her exposure to Roundup, a weedkiller. She had been using the product regularly for about 15 years. Martel alleged that Monsanto attempted to conceal evidence that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, as well as other chemicals in the weedkiller, could cause cancer. She accused the company of promoting misleading studies to support their claims.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs, John Boundas of Houston-based Williams Hart & Boundas and Rosemary Pinto of Feldman & Pinto, expressed satisfaction with the jury’s decision. “I’m very pleased that the jury is sending a message to Monsanto to stop putting dangerous products that hurt people on the market,” Pinto stated. However, Boundas declined to comment.

In their defense, attorneys representing Monsanto argued that the product is safe and that there is no scientific evidence linking Roundup to cancer. They asserted that the vast majority of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases are caused by random mutations rather than environmental factors. If Martel’s cancer was indeed caused by an environmental factor, the defense claimed it was due to her smoking habit.

In response to the verdict, a Bayer spokesperson, representing Monsanto’s parent company, stated that they disagree with the jury’s decision. The spokesperson emphasized the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence and worldwide regulatory and scientific assessments that demonstrate the safety of their products. Bayer plans to appeal the verdict, citing strong arguments against it.

The defendants had already set the stage for a challenge during the trial. They moved for a mistrial, arguing that Judge Genece Brinkley of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas had made prejudicial statements and asked biased questions during witness testimony. The defendants also filed motions for directed verdicts, contending that the plaintiffs had failed to prove Roundup caused Martel’s cancer.

This trial, known as Martel v. Nouryon Chemicals, served as the second case in Philadelphia’s Roundup mass tort program to go to trial. It was also the first trial to include claims that Nouryon produced a substance that made the Monsanto-created weedkiller more dangerous. The jury determined that Monsanto and Nouryon were respectively 92.5% and 7.5% liable for the compensatory damages, while the punitive damages were solely against Monsanto.

In recent months, plaintiffs in Roundup cases have experienced a wave of successes, securing multiple verdicts in their favor against Monsanto. In late October, a Philadelphia trial resulted in a $175 million verdict against Monsanto. This verdict, along with three subsequent plaintiff wins, has shifted the tide in favor of the Roundup plaintiffs. Prior to these successes, Monsanto had achieved nine consecutive defense wins.

Another Roundup case recently began trial in San Benito, California, after Monsanto’s failed attempt to disqualify the judge from the matter. In Philadelphia, the next trial is scheduled to start jury selection on January 4th and will be handled by the same plaintiffs’ team that secured the nine-digit verdict in the city’s first Roundup trial.

In conclusion, Roundup plaintiffs have achieved yet another victory with a $3.5 million verdict in Philadelphia. This verdict, the fifth consecutive win for the plaintiffs, holds Monsanto and Nouryon accountable for damages caused by their weedkiller product. The long-standing debate over the alleged link between Roundup and cancer continues to unfold in courtrooms across the country, with varying outcomes.