Roundup Lawsuit Judge Trims $200 Million From Jury Award

Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller atomizers are displayed in the company headquarters in Morges, Switzerland, May 25, 2016.

Monday a California Judge reduced damages awarded in a lawsuit linking Roundup to cancer but upheld the jury’s findings that Bayer acted with malice, Dow Jones reports. San Fancisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos reduced the punitive damages from $250 million to $39.25 million and left the $39.25 million compensatory damages unchanged.

The plaintiff has until Dec. 7 to agree to the reduction to ensure no new trial. The original verdict came from San Francisco’s Superior Court of California where a jury deliberated for three days. Jury members found Bayer (then Monsanto) failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of cancer risks posed by Roundup.

Bayer provided the following statement to AgWeb:

“The Court’s decision to reduce the punitive damage award by more than $200 million is a step in the right direction, but we continue to believe that the liability verdict and damage awards are not supported by the evidence at trial or the law and plan to file an appeal with the California Court of Appeal.


“Glyphosate-based herbicides have been used safely and successfully for over four decades worldwide and are a valuable tool to help farmers deliver crops to markets and practice sustainable farming by reducing soil tillage, soil erosion and carbon emissions. There is an extensive body of research on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, including more than 800 rigorous registration studies required by EPA, European and other regulators, that confirms that these products are safe when used as directed. Notably, the largest and most recent epidemiologic study – the 2018 independent National Cancer Institute long-term study that followed over 50,000 pesticide applicators and was published after the IARC monograph – found no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and cancer. Additionally, EPA’s 2017 post-IARC cancer risk assessment examined more than 100 studies the agency considered relevant and concluded that glyphosate is ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,’ its most favorable rating.”

Dow Jones reports Bayer’s shares are trading 7% lower since the ruling in the Roundup case, this follows a more than 8% drop previously. Bayer faces more than 8,700 Roundup related claims.