German chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer on Monday lost a new appeal in court against a ruling that the herbicide Roundup is carcinogenic, the group’s latest attempt to end thousands of cases against its product.
A San Francisco appeals court upheld a 2019 ruling in favor of a couple who said they had contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup for years.
The court also upheld the judge’s decision to reduce damages to Alva and Alberta Pilliod from $2 billion to $86.7 million.
Bayer has been in trouble since buying Roundup owner Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018 while inheriting its legal battle.
The German company claims that scientific studies and government authorities show that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is safe.
But the World Health Organization’s Cancer Research Agency classifies glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic.”
In the ruling, the appeals court indicated that Monsanto had “reluctantly entered into a settlement to inform the public about the carcinogenic dangers of a product widely distributed in home improvement and gardening supply stores across the country.”
“Monsanto knew that studies defending the credibility of Roundup were invalid when Piliodes began spraying the product in their backyards, without wearing gloves or protective gear, encouraged by television commercials.”
A spokesman for Bayer said the company “disagreeed with the court’s decision because the ruling is not based on trial evidence or the law” and that it would explore other “legal options” in the case.
According to a statement released by his office, plaintiffs’ attorney, Brent Wisner, celebrated the decision by saying that Monsanto “has now lost all resources, and for good reason”.
“It’s a huge victory for the Paleoids and the plaintiffs everywhere,” Wisner said. “Monsanto now has to get its head out of the sand and roundup off the shelves.”
Bayer has set aside $15 billion to face a wave of herbicide-related lawsuits in the United States.
In February, it said it had solved about 90,000 cases. The German chemical conglomerate last week reported a net loss of $2.7 billion in the second quarter of 2021, after leaving $4.5 billion in additional provisions for lawsuits.