Bayer's third Roundup court loss comes two weeks after shareholders disavowed Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann at a meeting in Germany, lambasting his handling of the US$63 billion Monsanto Co. acquisition.
The jury in San Francisco Superior Court in Oakland yesterday said the company was liable for plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod's contracting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a spokeswoman for the couple said.
Hardeman's lawyers said the elderly man developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup to spray his properties for nearly three decades.
While it was a "risky move" to ask for an award of more than US$1 billion - and the damages will probably be reduced by the judge - the three verdicts against Bayer show jurors are convinced by evidence against the company, said Anna Pavlik, senior counsel for special situations at United First Partners LLC in NY.
This follows almost six weeks of testimony followed by closing arguments last Wednesday.
Pillioid says they wish Monsanto had proper labelling on their round up containers for the potential life-altering dangers with using it.
The company said both Alva and Alberta Pilliod had long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In addition, the largest and most recent epidemiologic study - the 2018 independent National Cancer Institute-supported long-term study that followed over 50,000 pesticide applicators for more than 20 years and was published after the IARC monograph - found no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and cancer.
"The jury saw for themselves internal company documents demonstrating that, from day one, Monsanto has never had any interest in finding out whether Roundup is safe", an attorney for the couple, R. Brent Wisner, said in a statement sent to CBS News. The San Francisco groundskeeper was awarded $289 million, as the court ruled that the popular herbicide was responsible for his non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group said "The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate".
Bayer issued a statement Monday in response to the verdict.
Glyphosate was developed by Monsanto in the U.S. in the 1970s and has become one of the most widely used ingredients in weed killers worldwide.
In March 2019, a federal jury in California found that Monsanto's Roundup weed killer caused a 70-year old man's cancer.
The latest verdict may be the most expensive nightmare to hit Bayer this month, but it's not the only one.
"It is clear that we apologise for what has come to light in France", Matthias Berninger, Bayer's head of public affairs, told journalists in a conference call. "We consider what we have seen so far to be completely inappropriate", he said.
The lawsuits have battered Bayer's stock since it purchased Monsanto for $63 billion previous year, The Associated Press reports.