An $86.7 million settlement awarded to a Livermore couple diagnosed with cancer after years of exposure to Roundup weed killer has been put on hold as the California Supreme Court refused to hear Monsanto’s appeal.
The verdict was declared in May 2019, where both the plaintiffs were awarded $1 billion in punitive damages each in addition to the $55 million combined compensatory damages. The wife even testified that she would not have bought the herbicide if she had known earlier that the approval studies of the weed killer were fraudulent.
As per the jury's verdict about the lawsuit in 2019, Monsanto was found guilty for failing to warn the consumers about the risks associated with the weed killer. The lawsuit even claimed that the company used fraudulent methods to hide the fact that their weed killer caused cancer.
As per the court documents, both the plaintiffs were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of the decades of Roundup use. The court documents highlighted that the husband was diagnosed with systemically diffused large B-Cell lymphoma in his bones in 2011, and his wife was diagnosed with an aggressive subset of lymphoma in her brain in 2015.
The plaintiffs' attorney stated that the 2019 verdict was based on facts and science. Thus the company should stop using the appeals process to avoid paying the settlement amount to the plaintiffs.
Environmental Protection Agency stated that Roundup's active ingredient glyphosate might not sicken humans, whereas the weed killer has been classified as a “probable human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015.
Bayer has even promised to discontinue the sale of glyphosate-based products from retail stores by 2023 to avoid future litigations, but still, the company continues to back its Roundup's safety.