Couple awarded $2B in Round-Up court case

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He said the ratio between the $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages is too high.

The Pilliods say they hope this case will cause St. Louis-based Monsanto and its parent German company Bayer to add warning labels about glyphosate in its products.

But Bayer now faces more than 13,400 USA lawsuits over Roundup's alleged cancer risk.

Under a push to divest assets including its animal health division, Bayer late on Monday said it had agreed to sell US sun care brand Coppertone to Nivea owner Beiersdorf, for $550 million.

The Bayer AG logo sits on display at the headquarters in La Garenne-Colombes, near Paris, France, May 13, 2019.

The jurors agreed that Alva and Alberta Pilliod's exposure to Roundup used for residential landscaping was a "substantial factor" in their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In a statement, Bayer said it was disappointed with the jury's decision and would appeal the verdict, which it argues was at odds with a recent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review of glyphosate-based weedkillers. "USDA applauds EPA's proposed registration decision as it is science-based and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans".

"They were given an incredibly hard task having to analyze the highly-complex scientific issues in this case", said co-lead trial counsel R. Brent Wisner, of Baum Hedlund Law, in a statement after the verdict.

"Monsanto keeps denying that it causes cancer and these two fine people here are casualties of that deception", Wisner said, standing next to the California couple, who are in their 70s. It also contends there is no reliable scientific evidence to conclude its herbicide was the "but for" cause of the Pilliods' cancer "as the jury was required to find in this case".

"We've been fighting cancer for nine years".

Michael Miller, another attorney for the couple, noted that the judge in this case permitted the legal team to present significant evidence about Monsanto's conduct, in contrast to previous trials, where evidence was severely limited.

The prior two jury verdicts against Bayer in US Roundup trials triggered steep declines in Bayer shares. In the first, school groundskeeper Dewayne "Lee" Johnson was ultimately awarded $78.5 million.

A federal jury in San Francisco ordered the weed killer maker in March to pay a Sonoma County man $80 million.

"The company has got to come to the table with a viable plan to resolve these cases, or the losses are going to mount", Micah Dortch, managing partner at the Potts Law Firm in Dallas who has filed dozens of Roundup cases, said by email.

"This is not the end of this litigation", he said. It also remains to be seen how juries in other part of the country react to the evidence in upcoming trials, he said.

It's the third consecutive verdict against the company over the product and the largest to date. In 2011, Alva was diagnosed with systemic National Hockey League in his bones, which spread to his pelvis and spine, and Alberta was diagnosed with National Hockey League brain cancer in 2015.

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