EM – Summary: $ 87 million Monsanto verdict upheld for cancer-stricken Livermore couple

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A state appeals court this week upheld a landmark ruling awarding $ 87 million in damages to a Livermore couple who used Monsanto’s then popular herbicide Roundup at home for about 30 years and who later both developed similar cancers / p> In a 2: 1 ruling on Monday, the First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that evidence in a 2019 Alameda County Superior Court case showed that “Monsanto’s relentless reluctance to tell the public about the carcinogenic dangers of a product to inform that it has proven to be available on a large scale in hardware “. Stores and gardening stores across the country. “

Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore both developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma between 2011 and 2015 before they stopped using the product and later sued it.

” It was a great victory, “said Alberta Pilliod, 77, in a telephone interview Tuesday of the verdict. “We’re feeling very good about it.”

The appellate judges affirmed that Monsanto had tried to misrepresent the science of whether the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, could cause cancer in humans, and showed “a reckless disregard the health and safety of the multitude of unsuspecting consumers it kept in the dark. “

An Alameda County jury initially awarded the couple $ 2 billion in punitive damages and $ 55 million in damages, but the trial judge reduced the total to $ 87 million.

Monsanto laid down Appeals against this decision, but Appeals Court Judge J. Anthony Kline and Judge Marla J. Miller upheld the lower court’s judgment. Appeals Court Judge James A. Richman partially disagreed, writing that while he believed punitive damages were warranted, the amount was “grossly inflated.” Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, made the decision in one Email to this news agency on Tuesday challenged.

“We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling, as the ruling is not supported by either the court evidence or the law,” Bayer wrote. “Monsanto will examine its legal options in this case.”

Bayer announced last month that it would take Roundup and all other glyphosate-based products off the shelves in the US from 2023 and “replace them with new formulations that based on alternative active ingredients ”. The original product will not change for farms and professional use, the statement says.

Bayer said in its statement that the changes are made “solely to manage process risks and not for safety reasons.”

“We remain strong behind the safety of Roundup, a position backed by four decades of extensive scientific knowledge and the assessments of leading health authorities worldwide that support its safe use,” Bayer said. Alberta Pilliod said Tuesday that while it is definitely an advantage to gain a substantial sum of money from the verdict, that was not why she and her husband were sued.

“Our main goal was to get Monsanto to get the people out of it to warn that glyphosate is dangerous, “she said.

” The money was really nice, but the win was to get the stuff out of the reg alen so others didn’t have to go through what we went through and what we went through, “she said.

Her brain cancer, which was once in remission, has returned and she is undergoing several treatments to get it back according to one of her lawyers, Mike Miller.

“My life was definitely cut short by the cancer I got from Roundup,” she said.

“We can’t travel like this because of the physical limitations as we wanted. There are many things we can no longer do, “he said, adding that he was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and went into remission in 2013.

A train trip around Canada, sailing and visiting their children and grandchildren who live in different parts of the US were on their list of retired activities.

Brent Wisner, a co-lead attorney for the Pilliods, said the court ruling was a “great victory” for them and for thousands of people People bringing cases like yours.

“It signals Monsanto and its shareholders that their involvement in these cases is going through the roof,” said Wisner.

For the hundreds of thousands of people who have been using the products for years Monsanto’s plan to eventually pull them off the shelves is “a dollar short and a day late,” he said.

Although the US Environmental Protection Agency has determined that glyphosate poses no threat to human health, announced the International Agency for Cancer Research The World Health Organization announced in 2015 that the chemical is likely to be carcinogenic. In 2017, California ordered glyphosate products to carry a Proposition 65 warning as a possible carcinogen.

In 2019, the Pilliods’ court win was the third in a year for California plaintiffs who claimed Roundup gave them cancer given.

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Dewayne Johnson, a school steward in Benicia, was awarded $ 289 million by the San Francisco Superior Court in 2018, although judges later reduced the amount to $ 21.5 million, according to Wisner.

A jury spoke in March 2019 in San Francisco in the first of thousands of federal cases to Edwin Hardeman of Sonoma County, although that amount has also been reduced to $ 25.2 million, Wisner said.

According to Bayer, Monsanto plans to do so this month to ask the US Supreme Court to review the Hardeman case.

Alva Pilliod said simply, “Don’t use a roundup,” after pondering the lengthy legal battle and serious health implications.

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