Judge Slashes Roundup Verdict from Over $2B to $400M

(BrightPress.org) – On Tuesday, June 4th, Judge Susan Schulman from Pennsylvania reduced a jury’s verdict against Bayer of $2.25 billion to $400 million.

A jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas found Bayer liable to John McKivison. The jury agreed with McKivison that the weed killer, Roundup, caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and awarded him $250 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages.

Bayer filed post-trial motions to challenge the verdict. Judge Schulman agreed to reduce the verdict to $50 million in compensatory damages and $350 million in punitive damages. Bayer plans to take the appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania because they claim the jury was allowed to hear “misleading and inflammatory” testimony. The company also wants legal protection for businesses whose product labels comply with federal requirements.

Tim Kline and Jason Itkin, attorneys for McKivison expressed satisfaction with the jury’s finding that the weed killer causes cancer, but still intend to appeal the reduced verdict claiming the ruling is a “clear departure” from Pennsylvania law.

Bayer acquired Monsanto, the company that produces Roundup, in 2018. Monsanto insists the main ingredient in the weed killer, glyphosate, could not have caused McKivison’s cancer as it is not a carcinogen, which contradicts the findings of the World Health Organization.

Bayer has paid out more than $10 billion in settlements related to Roundup. The company won 14 of 20 cases that have gone to trial. There are 50,000 claims against the company still pending.

A judge in Missouri reduced a verdict against Bayer earlier this year from $1.56 billion to $611 million for three individuals claiming the weed killer caused their cancer. The jury initially ruled to award Valorie Gunther, Jimmy Draeger, and Daniel Anderson $61.1 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 billion in punitive damages. Judge Daniel Green reduced the amount of punitive damages to $549.9 million to be split between the plaintiffs.

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