An 83-year-old resident of Philadelphia was awarded $175 million by a jury who found that the maker of Roundup weedkiller was liable for his cancer.
The verdict in favor of plaintiff Ernest Caranci, announced Oct. 27, was delivered in a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and marks the second consecutive trial loss for Bayer-owned Monsanto in recent days. On Oct. 20, a jury awarded a St. Louis man $1.25 million in compensatory damages, a verdict that ended Bayer/Monsanto’s winning streak of nine consecutive Roundup trials, all of which shared similar allegations that exposure to Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that starts in the white blood cells.
According to the Philadelphia Enquirer, the verdict for Caranci, who was diagnosed with NHL nearly 20 years ago, concluded a three-week trial—the first Roundup trial in Philadelphia—over whether glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, and another chemical compound are carcinogenic. In addition to compensatory damages for Caranct’s injuries, the verdict includes $150 million for punitive damages.
“We are pleased that Ernie Caranci got justice today. We believe that the jury’s finding that Monsanto’s conduct was outrageous is a harbinger of things to come in the Roundup litigation nationally,” Caranci’s co-lead counsel, said in a joint statement.
In an emailed statement per Philadelphia Inquirer, Bayer announced it would appeal, stating, “We respectfully disagree with the jury’s divided verdict and are confident we can get this unfounded verdict overturned and the excessive damage awards reduced through our appeal, given that there were significant and reversible legal and evidentiary errors made during this trial.”
At trial, Caranci’s attorneys claimed the plaintiff applied more than 500 gallons of Roundup on his property two or three times weekly between 1989 and 2014. The plaintiff had applied the weedkiller to his lawn and garden without protective equipment. However, Monsanto never recommended wearing such protective equipment, according to the plaintiff’s attorneys, who added that Caranci is currently undergoing treatment for a fourth round of NHL.
Another Roundup trial is currently underway in San Diego. In 2020, Bayer resolved approximately 95,000 Roundup lawsuits with a $10.9 billion settlement. The company, which acquired Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion, still faces approximately 40,000 similar lawsuits.
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