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Bayer Faces Back-to-Back Losses in Roundup Cancer Trials

Author
Josef Rappaport, DPT, Physical Therapist
October 30, 2023

Bayer, the German conglomerate, recently suffered two significant legal blows as juries in two separate trials held the company accountable for health issues linked to its Roundup weed killer. In the first case, a Philadelphia jury ordered Bayer to pay $175 million in damages to a retired restaurant owner, Ernest Caranci, who alleged that his cancer was caused by Roundup exposure. The verdict included $25 million in compensatory damages and $150 million in punitive damages. Bayer, however, expressed its disagreement with the verdict and plans to appeal, confident in overturning it.

The second case unfolded in Missouri, where a jury awarded $1.25 million to John Durnell, a St. Louis man diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Bayer-Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. This marked the first verdict against Bayer-Monsanto outside of California and the chemical giant's first loss in St. Louis, where several trials concerning Roundup have occurred. Plaintiffs argued that prolonged exposure to glyphosate, a chemical in Roundup, led to their lymphoma, and that Monsanto had failed to adequately warn the public.

Notably, Bayer had previously faced Roundup-related lawsuits since its acquisition of Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion. While the company had won nine consecutive trials before these recent losses, it also settled most Roundup claims in 2020 for up to $10.9 billion. Nevertheless, Bayer still grapples with nearly 40,000 Roundup-related cases and has sought unsuccessfully to challenge plaintiffs' ability to sue under state law in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Scientific debate lingers over glyphosate's potential as a carcinogen. In 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a possible carcinogen, but a joint committee from the WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stated in 2016 that glyphosate posed no significant health risk to humans. The Environmental Protection Agency also found that glyphosate was unlikely to be a human carcinogen.

These trials represent significant setbacks for Bayer, as they underscore the ongoing legal challenges and public concerns surrounding Roundup and its potential health risks. Bayer's determination to appeal these decisions suggests that the battle over Roundup's safety is far from over.

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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