Calif. High Court Leaves $87M Roundup Verdict In Place

The California Supreme Court refused to hear Monsanto’s request to overturn an $87 million award to a couple who claim the Roundup weedkiller produced by the Bayer AG subsidiary caused their cancer.

The case was one of about 50 the state’s high court denied a petition for review. In waving away the request, the court let stand what was the third loss Bayer saw in trial over the Roundup product.

Jurors determined in 2019 that Roundup was more likely than not a contributing factor that caused the Pilliod’s to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. They awarded the couple $2 billion in damages, which was later reduced to $87 million.

The company appealed the decision, but in August 2021, a California appellate court shot down the company’s bid describing its opening brief’s as bearing “little resemblance to the trial reflected in the record.”

However, Bayer pointed to its October California win in Destiny Clark v. Monsanto Co. et al. — where a jury determined that the weedkiller wasn’t a substantial factor in what caused a child’s lymphoma — as proof that the tide is turning in its favor.

The company is also hoping to overturn a $25 million verdict awarded in a bellwether trial, after losing an appeal in the Ninth Circuit, by asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine that failure to warn claims brought under California law are preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Bayer is bringing a similar argument to the Eleventh Circuit in the John Carson v. Monsanto Co. case.


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