Bayer sets wheels in motion to appeal $289 million glyphosate verdict

Bayer – the new owner of Monsanto and the glyphosate weedkiller – asked a California judge to throw out a $289 million jury verdict awarded to a man who alleged the company’s glyphosate-based weedkillers gave him cancer, news agency Reuters reports.

Filling motions in San Francisco’s Superior Court of California, the company said that the jury’s decision was insufficiently supported by the evidence presented at trial, Reuters says.

The US case was filed by claimant Dewayne Johnson, a California groundsman and pest manager who, in 2016, alleged that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was caused by Roundup and Ranger Pro – another Monsanto glyphosate herbicide.

The jury ruled that the company was responsible for negligence in failing to warn users of the potential risks of using the weedkillers.

However, it’s reported that the company has now asked to have the verdict set aside or – in alternative – reduce the award or grant a new trial. A hearing on the motions is set for October 10.

Bayer previously said the verdict of the above case was wrong.

On August 24, CEO of Bayer Werner Baumann said: “Looking at the verdict in the Johnson trial, we think it is inconsistent with the robust science-based conclusions of regulators and health authorities worldwide, and we believe it is wrong.

“We are confident that our legal resources, now combined after the hold separate has ended, will help strengthen the company’s ability to defend glyphosate in this litigation.

We want to make sure that glyphosate will continue to be available to our key stakeholders as an excellent, safe and very important tool for modern agriculture.

The CEO stressed that farmers and growers have been using glyphosate safely and effectively for more than 40 years.

More than 800 scientific studies and reviews conclude that it can be used safely and does not cause cancer, including the US Agricultural Health Study, Baumann asserted.

Findings

He added: “These findings are supported by the conclusions of regulators and health authorities around the globe, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Health, European Chemicals Agency and the European Food Safety Authority, which have all concluded that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

“We are of course very sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family, but we disagree with the verdict in the Johnson trial.

The decision by one jury in one case does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews, and other sources, support the conclusion that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

“We will seek reversal of this jury verdict through the various litigation options available to us.”