Judge Slashes Roundup Verdict By Nearly 2 Billion Dollars

(UnitedVoice.com) – In late January, attorneys with two of the nation’s leading personal injury law firms, Arnold & Itkin LLP and Kline & Spector PC, secured a $2.25 billion settlement ($250 million in compensatory and $2 billion in punitive damages) against Bayer/Monsanto involving a glyphosate-based herbicide distributed by Roundup.

The Texas and Philadelphia-based firms successfully argued that their client, 49-year-old John McKivision, developed Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup on his property for 20 years. The plaintiff’s lawyers released a statement applauding the jury’s unanimous decision, calling the verdict a “condemnation” of five decades of ‘misconduct’ by Monsanto.”

Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, emailed a statement to media outlets announcing its plan to appeal the verdict and “unconstitutionally excessive” damages awarded by the jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The notice said the panel’s finding conflicted with “worldwide regulatory and scientific assessments” regarding Roundup. Likewise, the email claimed the verdict ran counter to “the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence” regarding their product.

A Pennsylvania judge recently ruled on Bayer/Monsanto’s appeal and reduced the Roundup verdict by nearly two billion dollars.

Judge Slashes Amount of Damages Awarded to Plaintiff in Roundup Lawsuit

On June 4, media outlets exploded with the news that Common Pleas Judge Susan I. Schulman granted some of the post-trial pleadings filed by Bayer/Monsanto attorneys. As a result, she reduced the compensatory damages from $250 million to $50 million. Likewise, she lowered the punitive award from $2 billion to $350 million. In all, Schulman reduced the award by $1.85 billion.

The court hasn’t released the ruling yet, but judges typically reduce the amount of damages after finding them excessively high. They lower them to align the award with current legal standards and precedents. Additionally, the courts consider the possible impact of a significant award on a company’s ability to continue its operations.

Bayer issued a press release discussing Schulman’s decision. The statement applauded the court’s decision to “reduce the unconstitutionally excessive damage award.” However, the notice said the company still disagreed with the “ruling on the liability verdict” since “significant and reversible errors” marred the trial’s proceeding to the extent they “marred and inflamed the jury.”

Bayer also announced the company’s decision to seek an appeal from Pennsylvania’s Superior Court.

Roundup’s Parent Company Issues Stern Warning

Bayer’s statement warned the public that those errors committed by the trial court reinforced the “urgent need for legislative reform” to align federal standards regarding warning labels on products with those mandated by the states.

Otherwise, companies face a continued risk of adverse rulings and excessive damage awards for products regulatory bodies have consistently determined were safe, providing users heed the warning notices on the products or their accompanying packages.

Bayer said a failure to address this issue would needlessly drive up food costs and threaten supply levels and innovation.

Copyright 2024, UnitedVoice.com