OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:01 PM – Friday, November 17, 2023
Four plaintiffs alleged that Bayer’s Roundup herbicide caused cancer and other injuries, and a Missouri jury awarded them $1.56 billion. The decision could increase investor pressure for a change in the legal approach to German drug and agrochemical companies.
A jury in Cole County, Missouri, on Friday found Bayer-owned Monsanto liable for negligence, design flaws and failure to notify plaintiffs of the potential risks associated with the use of Roundup, according to court documents. It was concluded that there is.
The three plaintiffs, Jamie Drager of Missouri, Daniel Anderson of California, and Valorie Gunther of New York, were awarded a total of $61.1 million in damages, including $500 million in punitive damages. It was done. Each was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which they said was caused by spraying Roundup on their family’s land. Drager’s wife, Brenda, received a $100,000 settlement for injuries sustained as a result of her husband’s illness.
Punitive damages exceed the instructions of the U.S. Supreme Court and may be reduced on appeal.
Bayer says that “decades of research” has established that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is safe for human use.
The ruling marks Bayer’s fourth consecutive setback in court, after nine consecutive trials in which the company was deemed not liable to plaintiffs. Union Investment, one of Bayer’s top 10 shareholders, asked Bayer earlier this month to consider contacting the plaintiffs to further resolve the dispute.
The first of many victories on behalf of thousands of plaintiffs was declared in a statement by Bert Rankin, a partner at Forrest Weldon and plaintiffs’ attorney.
However, Bayer said in a statement that there were compelling reasons to reverse the latest ruling on appeal.
In previous lawsuits against the company, plaintiffs claimed it was unfairly allowed to distort safety assessments conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the European Union’s glyphosate renewal process.
The European Commission announced last week that it would extend glyphosate’s approval based on safety assessments from the European Food Agency and the European Chemicals Agency, after EU member states did not take a final position on the renewal.
About 165,000 lawsuits have been filed against Bayer for personal injury claims stemming from Bayer’s acquisition of Roundup as part of its $63 billion acquisition of agricultural company Monsanto in 2018.
Bayer paid up to $10.9 billion in 2020 to resolve the majority of its outstanding Roundup lawsuits. Approximately 50,000 claims remain outstanding, according to regulatory filings.
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