In August 2018, a California jury agreed with groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s assertion that Bayer AG and their subsidiary Monsanto were responsible for his Roundup cancer. They ordered the company to pay the man and his wife $289 million in damages, an amount that was later reduced by a judge to $78 million.
Despite the reduction in the Roundup cancer judgment, the company has appealed the results and is asking the courts to either overturn the verdict entirely or to order a new trial. The California decision and two other judgments against the company have spurred thousands of lawsuits making similar accusations of responsibility for serious illnesses.
Bayer Argues Against Responsibility for Roundup Cancer While Negotiating Settlements
As of last April, Bayer was facing over 50,000 separate Roundup cancer lawsuits. The company is hoping to settle these claims, and are fighting the previous judgments against them in the hopes that overturning those decisions or diminishing the awarded compensation will provide them with more flexibility in the amount that they offer to those who argue that they have been sickened by their product. Bayer purchased Monsanto, the original manufacturer of Roundup, in 2018 for $63 billion. Since that time they have been enmeshed in legal wrangling, and litigation experts believe that they are working towards a settlement valued at $10 billion.
The company entirely denies that the main ingredient in Roundup causes cancer, arguing that people around the world have found glyphosate to be non-carcinogenic. But victims’ attorneys have presented evidence that the company has manipulated data in order to be able to present misleading information about the product’s safety. The appeals court will be considering the arguments that it heard this week and will deliver a verdict within the next ninety days.