Monsanto ordered to pay $2 billion to US couple with cancer

The couple claimed that Monsanto's weed killer Roundup caused their cancers
The couple claimed that Monsanto's weed killer Roundup caused their cancers

Monsanto has suffered its biggest blow yet as a jury in California has ordered it to pay out over $2bn to a couple who say its Roundup weed killer caused their cancer.

The company, now owned by German agri-chemical giant Bayer, has been ordered to pay more than $2bn to Alva and Alberta Pilliod.

It is the third case involving Monsanto in recent times. Last year, a judge upheld a jury's verdict that Roundup, the world’s most widely used weedkiller, caused school caretaker Dewayne Johnson's cancer, becoming the first such case.

In March 2019, a federal jury in California found that its Roundup weed killer product caused 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman's cancer.

In the latest setback for the company, a jury ruled on Monday 13 May that Monsanto was liable for the Pilliods' non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) cancer.

It has been ordered to pay $1bn in damages to each of them and more than $55m in compensatory damages.

Brent Wisner, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, said in a statement that the verdict 'is as clear of a statement as you can get that they need to change what they're doing.'

Approximately 11,200 plaintiffs, who claim they were exposed to glyphosate in Monsanto's weed killer, are suing the company.

However, responding to the decision on Monday, Bayer insists that glyphosate is safe.

“Bayer is disappointed with the jury's decision and will appeal the verdict in this case,” it said in a statement.