Monsanto pays up big
A California jury has ordered Monsanto to pay more than USD 2bn (AUD 2.88bn) to a couple who contracted cancer after using its weedkiller, marking the third and largest verdict against the company over Roundup.
A jury in Oakland ruled Monday that Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, was liable for the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) cancer of Alva and Alberta Pilliod. The jury ordered the company to pay USD1bn (AUD 1.44) in damages to each of them, and more than USD 55m (AUD 79m) total in compensatory damages. The victory follows two consecutive trial wins for families taking on Monsanto over Roundup, the world's most widely used weedkiller. Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper with terminal cancer, won a USD 289m (AUD 415.7m) victory in state court last year, and Edwin Hardeman, who sprayed Roundup on his properties, was awarded USD 80m (AUD 115m) in the first federal trial this year.
The latest verdict is the largest by far and will increase pressure on Bayer, which has suffered share price drops in the wake of the verdicts and is now facing similar lawsuits from thousands of other cancer patients, survivors and families of those who have died. Read more: The Guardian