German chemical giant Bayer has lost a third appeal against a US court verdict that awarded damages to a couple who claimed its glyphosate-based weedkiller caused their cancer, Reuters reported on 10 August.
A California appeals court late on Monday upheld an US$86M verdict that found Bayer responsible for a couple's cancer after using the company's glyphosate-based Roundup against weeds, according to the report.
In February 2020, Bayer had filed an appeal, saying the verdict could not be reconciled with sound science or with product clearance from the federal environment regulator, Reuters wrote.
Bayer inherited the Roundup litigation in 2018 following its acquisition of the brand as part of its US$63bn purchase of global agrochemical company Monsanto.
“We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling as the verdict is not supported by the evidence at trial or the law. Monsanto will consider its legal options in this case,” Bayer was quoted as saying in a statement.
Bayer reaffirmed its plans to file a petition with the US Supreme Court in August to review a similar Roundup case that went in favour of Roundup user Edwin Hardeman, Reuters wrote.
Last year, Bayer had struck a settlement deal in principle with plaintiffs but had failed to win court approval for a separate agreement on how to handle future cases, the report said.
In July, the company announced an additional litigation provision of US$4.5bn, which came on top of the US$11.6bn it had previously set aside for settlements and litigation relating to the issue, Reuters wrote.
Among measures to contain the legal damage, Bayer said it planned to replace glyphosate in weedkillers for the US residential market with other active ingredients although it would continue to sell the herbicide to farmers, the report said.
“We continue to stand strongly behind the safety of Roundup, a position supported by four decades of extensive science and the assessments of leading health regulators worldwide that support its safe use,” Bayer added in its 10 August statement.
In 2019, a California jury had initially awarded more than US$2bn to Roundup users Alberta and Alva Pilliod, Reuters said, although this had later been reduced to US$86M by the trial judge.
The latest decision followed a federal appeals court ruling in May that upheld a US$25M court verdict which had ruled Roundup caused the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of California resident Edwin Hardeman, according to the report.
Last year Bayer had failed to persuade a California appeals court to overturn a verdict in favour of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson who claimed Roundup use caused his cancer, Reuters wrote.