OAKLAND, CA. — Trial lawyers like to remind jurors that the word “verdict” comes from a Latin phrase which roughly translated means “to speak the truth.” A jury in Oakland, CA spoke the truth in early May of 2019 and awarded $2.055 billion to a married couple who proved the weedkilling ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, gave them each non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. According to a report appearing on CNN.com, the jury found for the plaintiffs and awarded them $55 million in compensatory damages and awarded $2 billion in punitive damages. Bayer, the owners of the Monsanto brand that produces Roundup, denies any wrongdoing, and claims that the jury’s verdict is incompatible with recent findings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The plaintiffs, both of whom are in their seventies, are a married couple who owned a home and then bought several additional pieces of property. They claimed they used Roundup for weed control consistently on all of their parcels of land for about 30 years. Sadly, the husband fell ill with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and then four years later, the wife took sick from the same cancer. The stricken couple continued to use Roundup even after they received their diagnoses because they never made the connection between Roundup and cancer.
Bayer adamantly disagrees with the jury’s verdict. Bayer said that the EPA issued findings in April of 2019 that show glyphosate is harmless when used as directed. More importantly, the EPA said that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.
One major health agency disagrees with the EPA’s findings. The World Health Organization issued results in 2015 that potentially connected glyphosate to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Bayer claimed that the plaintiffs selectively used the information contained in that report to prove their case. However, the plaintiffs said that the trial judge gave them considerable leeway to show how the extensive efforts Monsanto went through to cover up the link between its popular product and potentially fatal illness.
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