Bayer ordered to pay $2.25 billion in Roundup lawsuit

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by Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) – German chemical and pharmaceutical group Bayer has been ordered to pay compensation of $2.25 billion (2.07 billion euros) to a resident of the US state of Pennsylvania who suffered from cancer he attributed to exposure to the weedkiller Roundup, the plaintiff’s lawyers announced.

A Philadelphia jury found that John McKivision’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was the result of Roundup use. John McKivision had used this weedkiller for several years for gardening work in his garden.

The verdict provides for $250 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages.

“The punitive damages awarded by the jury send a clear message (that) this multinational must change completely,” said Tom Kline and Jason Itkin, attorneys for John McKivision.

Bayer said in a statement that it disagrees with the jury’s “unfavorable decision, which goes against the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence and global regulatory and scientific assessments, and (we believe) we have strong arguments that we will make in appeal to overturn this verdict and eliminate or reduce the amount of these unconstitutionally excessive damages.

Some 165,000 Roundup-related complaints have been filed against Bayer in the United States. Most plaintiffs attribute their non-Hodgkin lymphomas to the use of this weedkiller.

Bayer argued that studies showed glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was safe.

(Reporting Brendan Pierson in New York; French version Camille Raynaud)


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