A California jury awarded $332 million to a man who said his cancer was caused by Roundup, a Monsanto weedkiller.
In 2020, Mike Dennis, 57, a resident of Carlsbad, California, was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he alleged in a lawsuit stemming from decades of use of the weed killer Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto, owned by Bayer.
Dennis claimed that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, caused his cancer.
“Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is genotoxic,” Adam Peavy, Dennis’ attorney, told NBC 7. “It causes DNA damage once absorbed through the skin, and that’s what ultimately causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
Peavy also said Dennis had been in remission for almost three years, while emphasizing that there was no cure for the disease.
“His doctors told him it was going to come back and we’re just waiting to see if that happens,” Peavy said.
A San Diego Superior Court jury found that Monsanto failed to warn consumers of the risks of Roundup. Dennis was awarded $7 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages. The jury sided with Bayer in finding that the design of the Roundup product was not defective and that the company was not negligent.
Bayer, headquartered in Germany, is expected to appeal the verdict.
“We respectfully disagree with the jury’s adverse verdict, even though it found in favor of the company on two of the four claims, and believe we have a strong case on appeal to have the claim overturned. “this unfounded verdict and the elimination or reduction of unconstitutionally excessive damages. given that there were significant and reversible legal and evidentiary errors made during this trial,” Bayer said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. “We have a winning record in Roundup litigation – having won nine of the last twelve trials – and have resolved the majority of claims filed in this litigation.”
Bayerin 2018 for $63 billion, creating the largest seed and agrochemical company in the world. Although Bayer quickly removed the Monsanto brand, it faced thousands of Roundup-related lawsuits. In 2020, Bayer announced it would pay up to $10.9 billion to settle some 125,000 filed and unfiled claims.
The Supreme Court last yearlawsuits claiming that weedkiller causes cancer.
In 2022, a government study found glyphosate in more than 80% of urine samples from American children and adults. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey identified glyphosate in 1,885 of 2,310 urine samples representative of the population as a whole.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report