Juries in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and California have found Bayer liable in three lawsuits, ruling that the company must pay millions of dollars to three men who claim that their exposure to Bayer’s Roundup herbicide caused their cancers. Prior to the three plaintiff victories, Bayer had wone nine Roundup-cancer trials after losing the first three.
In the first trial, plaintiff John Durnell was awarded $1.25 million. Durnell’s attorney, W. Wylie Blair, said the trial was significant because it was the first in which jurors heard evidence that other chemicals in glyphosate-based Roundup, called adjuvants, could cause cancer.
Like many other plaintiffs in Roundup lawsuits, Durnell had developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In the second trial, a jury in Philadelphia also found Bayer liable in a lawsuit filed by a retired restaurant owner, Ernest Caranci, who had also developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma from using Roundup in his garden.
The jury ordered Bayer to pay Caranci $25 million in compensatory damages and $150 million in punitive damages, which were assessed because of serious misconduct by Monsanto, maker of Roundup.
A California jury awarded plaintiff Mike Dennis, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, $7 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages.
Bayer plans to appeal all three rulings.
Roundup-cancer lawsuits have burdened Bayer since the company purchased Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. The company settled most Roundup claims in 2020 for up to $10.9 billion but still faces some 40,000 Roundup-cancer lawsuits.
Bayer has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, aiming to challenge plaintiff’s ability to sue under state law. But the Supreme Court has rejected that argument.