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Judge Slashes Bayer's Massive $2B Roundup Verdict To $400M

Published 05/06/2024, 15:06
Updated 05/06/2024, 16:10
© Reuters.  Judge Slashes Bayer\'s Massive $2B Roundup Verdict To $400M
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Benzinga - by Vandana Singh, Benzinga Editor.

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday drastically reduced a $2.25 billion verdict against Bayer AG (OTC:BAYRY), cutting it down to $400 million in a case involving a man who claimed he developed cancer from using the company’s Roundup weedkiller.

The jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas had initially awarded John McKivison $250 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages, finding that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was caused by long-term use of Roundup at his home.

However, Judge Susan Schulman later adjusted the damages to $50 million in compensatory and $350 million in punitive, citing Bayer’s challenges.

Bayer intends to appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, arguing that the trial included misleading and “inflammatory” testimony. Reuters noted that the company also called for legislative reform to shield companies that comply with federal labeling standards.

McKivison’s legal team expressed satisfaction that the jury’s decision to link Roundup to cancer was upheld.

However, they plan to appeal for the reinstatement of the original $2.25 billion verdict, stating that the reduction deviates from established Pennsylvania law.

Despite numerous studies indicating that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is safe for human use, the product has faced extensive legal challenges.

Roundup, once widely used in U.S. households, saw its home-use sales phased out by Bayer last year.

Bayer has faced over 165,000 claims in the U.S. alleging that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although Bayer has won 14 of the last 20 trials, recent losses have led to over $4 billion in verdicts, shaking investor confidence and company hopes for an end to the litigation.

In 2020, Bayer settled many pending cases for up to $9.6 billion, but future claims remain unresolved, with more than 50,000 still pending.

Price Action: BAYRY shares closed at $7.79 on Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

© 2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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