Bayer Ordered to Pay $2.25 Billion to Pennsylvania Man Who Blamed His Cancer on Roundup Weedkiller

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jan 27, 2024 04:33 AM EST

Bayer was ordered to pay $2.25 billion to a Pennsylvania man, John McKivision, who blamed his cancer on his exposure to the company's Roundup weedkiller, his attorneys said. 

According to Reuters, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury ruled in favor of McKivision, awarding him $250 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages.

Bayer Lauches New Pharmaceutical Production Facility
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BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: The Bayer corporate logo hangs at the launch event of a new Bayer Pharmaceutical Division production facility on November 23, 2023 in Berlin, Germany.

Bayer Disagrees With the Jury's Decision

The jury reportedly sided with McKivision, who said that his non-Hodgkins lymphoma was the result of using Roundup at work and at home for several years.

In a joint statement, McKivision's attorneys, Tom Kline and Jason Itkin, said the verdict "sends a clear message that this multi-national corporation needs top to bottom change." 

On the other hand, Bayer disagreed "with the jury's adverse verdict," saying it "conflicts with the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence and worldwide regulatory and scientific assessments."

The company asserted that they have "strong arguments on appeal to get this verdict overturned and the unconstitutionally excessive damage award eliminated or reduced."

This ruling follows five other wins for Bayer late last year by plaintiffs alleging harm from Roundup. In total, Bayer has already won 10 of the last 16 Roundup trials.

The company reportedly faces around 165,000 claims across the US related to personal injuries attributed to Roundup, which Bayer acquired through its $63 billion purchase of US agrochemical firm Monsanto in 2018.

READ ALSO: Cruise Pedestrian Accident: Inquiry Says Poor Leadership, Cultural Flaws Plague Response Effort 

More Roundup Trials For Bayer

While Bayer maintains that Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, are safe, the weedkiller has been the subject of significant legal battles.

Despite Bayer settling most pending Roundup cases for up to $9.6 billion in 2020, it failed to get a settlement covering future cases, leaving more than 50,000 claims pending.

Last year's losses resulted in verdicts exceeding $2 billion, prompting Bayer to appeal those verdicts. The company remains committed to fighting the cases in court and has even considered temporarily shelving a plan to separate its crop science business.

More Roundup trials are expected later this year, prolonging Bayer's legal challenges related to the controversial weedkiller.

READ MORE: Mining Giants Ordered to Pay Nearly $10 Billion Over Brazil Dam Disaster That Killed 19 People 

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