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Bayer must pay $2bln to couple in Roundup trial

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 14, 2019 - Duration: 01:43s

Bayer must pay $2bln to couple in Roundup trial

A California jury on Monday (May 13) awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, in the largest U.S. jury verdict to date against the company in litigation over the chemical.

Ryan Brooks reports.

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Bayer must pay $2bln to couple in Roundup trial

$2 billion dollars.

That's how much a California jury has ordered Bayer to pay a California couple who claim weed killer roundup caused their cancer.

The large award in punitive damages is likely to be reduced.

However, it's the third straight trial lost by agribusiness company Monsanto over the chemical, now owned by Germany's Bayer.

Roundup is based on the herbicide glyphosate.

Bayer acquired it as part of its $63 billion dollar purchase of Monsanto last year.

Plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a couple in their 70s, allege the regular use of Roundup on their property between 1975 and 2011 caused them to contract non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) PLAINTIFF, ALBERTA PILLIOD, SAYING: "They weren't giving us any choice, because from their ads we felt that it was incredibly safe to use.

We've been fighting cancer for nine years now, Al longer than me, and it was caused by Roundup." The jury found that Bayer failed to warn of the herbicide's cancer risk and also that the company acted negligently.

Bayer faces more than 13,400 U.S. lawsuits over Roundup's alleged cancer risk.

The company called the jury's decision "excessive and unjustifiable" and said it will appeal.

Bayer says decades of studies by the company and independent scientists have shown glyphosate and Roundup to be safe for human use.

Shareholders have rebuked the company's top management over its handling of the Monsanto acquisition and the litigation it inherited, which has wiped over $30 billion dollars from Bayer's market value since the first jury verdict.

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