Monsanto Hit With Massive $2.25B Verdict In Philadelphia Roundup Trial
A Philadelphia jury delivered a resounding blow to the makers of the weedkiller Roundup, awarding an unprecedented $2 billion in punitive damages, coupled with $250 million in compensatory damages. This historic verdict emerged from a lawsuit brought forth by a Pennsylvania man, asserting that Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, neglected to caution users about the presence of carcinogenic chemicals in the product, which allegedly contributed to his cancer.
The 12-person jury swiftly reached their decision after deliberating for just over an hour, concluding a trial initiated on January 8 under the jurisdiction of Court of Common Pleas Judge Susan I. Schulman. This marked the third bellwether trial within the Roundup mass tort in Philadelphia, with Lycoming County resident John McKivison contending that his use of Roundup led to his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Notably, previous juries in Philadelphia had already delivered substantial verdicts against Bayer AG unit Monsanto, amounting to $3.5 million and $175 million.
McKivison’s lawsuit outlined his regular application of Roundup starting in 2006, estimating approximately 30 uses before his cancer diagnosis. Like previous cases, McKivison alleged that Monsanto and its chemical supplier, Nouryon, prioritized financial gains over consumer safety.
The complaint asserted that Monsanto had persistently marketed Roundup as harmless to humans and the environment, despite evidence suggesting otherwise. It accused the company of disseminating misinformation to various stakeholders, including governmental bodies and consumers, regarding the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides.
During the trial, tensions escalated when Judge Schulman expressed frustration with perceived repetition in testimony from Monsanto’s toxicology expert.
This verdict aligns with a broader trend of legal setbacks for Monsanto in Roundup-related litigations nationwide, resulting in substantial financial liabilities amounting to billions of dollars.