Bayer AG has been ordered to pay more than US$2 billion in damages to a California couple that claimed they got cancer as a result of using the company’s Roundup weedkiller for about 30 years.
A jury in a state court in Oakland, California, issued the verdict on Monday.
It’s the largest jury award in the U.S. so far this year and the eighth-largest ever in a product-defect claim, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The decision is a major blow to Germany-based Bayer, which in June last year purchased U.S.-based Roundup-maker Monsanto. Bayer, which said it will appeal the verdict, has now lost three trials in a row over claims Roundup causes cancer.
The jurors agreed that Alva and Alberta Pilliod’s use of Roundup over about 30 years for residential landscaping was a “substantial factor” in causing them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to Bloomberg.
Their lawyer reportedly sought damages of about US$55 million for the couple’s medical bills and pain and suffering, and US$1 billion to punish the company.
Monsanto Co. is the named defendant in similar U.S. lawsuits filed by at least 13,400 plaintiffs.
Bayer is also appealing the earlier verdicts – one in a California state court in August 2018 and another in a Federal court in March this year.