Bayer was ordered to pay $2.25 billion after a jury concluded that Roundup weedkiller caused one person to get cancer, lawyers say.

(CNN) — Plaintiffs’ attorneys announced that a Pennsylvania jury returned a $2.25 billion verdict against Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, after determining that their Roundup herbicide product caused cancer in a man.

John McKevison, 49, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sued the company, saying it was accused of using Roundup on his property for two decades, his lawyers at the law firm Kline & Spector said in a statement. Later he developed cancer. Press this Monday.

The jury returned its verdict Friday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, including $2 billion in punitive damages, after concluding that Roundup “is a defective product that causes cancer, that Monsanto was negligent and that Monsanto was unaware of the dangers.” Failed to warn about herbicides, the law firm said.

McKivison’s attorneys, Tom Kline and Jason Itkin, said, “The jury’s unanimous verdict convicts Monsanto of 50 years of misconduct and declares that its misconduct amounted to a reckless disregard for human safety and resulted in John McKivison’s cancer. There was a big reason.” a statement.

Bayer, which acquired agrochemical giant Monsanto in 2018, said it will appeal the ruling and believes it will be able to eliminate or reduce the “unconstitutionally excessive damage award.” .

“While we have our deepest sympathy for the plaintiffs in this case, we are confident that our products can be used safely and based on the assessments of expert regulators around the world,” the company said in a statement on Friday this week. These are not carcinogens.”

Hundreds of non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients began suing Monsanto after a 2015 World Health Organization report suggested that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, could cause cancer.

The report, prepared by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, said that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

But Monsanto continues to sell the herbicide. He says Roundup does not cause cancer and refutes the IARC report, saying the number of studies showing glyphosate is safe is small.

The US Environmental Protection Agency said in 2020 that it had found that “glyphosate poses no risk to human health when used according to its current label” and that the chemical was “unlikely to be a carcinogen.” The European Commission also determined last year that “there is no evidence to classify glyphosate as carcinogenic.”

The American Cancer Society says the cause of most lymphomas is unknown, but non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been linked to risk factors, including exposure to certain chemicals in herbicides and pesticides. The organization noted that investigations are still ongoing to “clarify” possible links.

Over the past few years, the Germany-based company has paid more than $10 billion in settlements to thousands of cancer patients and their heirs who sued Monsanto, alleging that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma. and accused the company of failing to adequately warn consumers about it. risk.

Very few of the Roundup lawsuits went to trial. In the cases of cancer patients Dwayne Johnson, Edwin Hardman, and Alva and Alberta Pilliod, juries sided with the plaintiffs and awarded them millions (and even billions) of dollars, although judges later reduced those amounts. reduced that they were too high.

CNN’s Holly Yan and Danny Freeman contributed to this report.


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