After two days of deliberation a jury in Oakland, California, has awarded a couple $2 billion in punitive damages, concluding that sustained exposure to Monsanto Co.’s popular Roundup weed killer led to their cancer diagnoses. The couple will receive an additional $55 million for pain and suffering and to cover medical expenses.
Seventy-six-year-old Alva and 74-year-old Alberta Pilliod used Roundup for about 30 years for residential landscaping, which the jury believed played a “substantial factor” in their development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Alva was diagnosed in 2011; his wife, Alberta, received the same diagnosis four years later. They are both in remission.
Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, released a statement claiming that the couple had “long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma” and countered allegations that an active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, has been linked to cancer. Bayer said it plans to appeal Monday’s verdict.