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$86M Award to Couple for RoundUp Use Upheld by CA Supreme Court

$86M Award to Couple for RoundUp Use Upheld by CA Supreme Court - There have been several decisions handed down by U.S. courts of law regarding the use of consumer RoundUp products over recent years. The claims levied against the pharmaceutical giant Bayer, or the former producer of RoundUp products (Monsanto) have argued that long-term use of RoundUp products caused cancer in consumers. Three prominent cases were decided in the claimants' favor, but Bayer recently challenged the outcomes of these cases individually.

The Alberta and Alva Pilliod V. Monsanto Co. Case
The Alberta and Alva Pilliod V. Monsanto Co. Case

In the last few years, several rulings have been issued in U.S. courts of law concerning consumers’ use of RoundUp products. The lawsuits against Bayer, the pharmaceutical giant Bayer, and the former manufacturer of RoundUp products (Monsanto) have argued that the use of for a long time of RoundUp products could cause cancer in consumers. Three significant cases were settled in favor of the claimants, but Bayer has recently challenged the results of these cases separately.

A case recently heard before the courts in California was the court’s first decision on the Alva and Alberta Pilliod v. Monsanto Co. case. Here we will discuss Bayer’s appeal and some background information about the original Pilliod case. We also look at the court’s latest ruling on Bayer’s claim to this case and whether it will be able to affect ongoing or future RoundUp lawsuits.

An Important Update in RoundUp Litigation

On November 17, 2021, the state’s top court decided on Bayer’s appeal to an earlier decision. The initial case concerned the Pilliod couple that had previously been awarded $86.2 million after they developed cancer after 30 years of using RoundUp’s products on the lawns of four homes. The California judge ruled against Bayer’s appeal, reaffirming the initial decision, which was initially against the Pilliod couple’s favor.

The Alberta and Alva Pilliod V. Monsanto Co. Case

The initial case involved Alberta And Alva Pilliod, two couples living in Livermore, California, who used RoundUp for around 30 years before developing non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a deadly form of lymph cancer. Alva Pilliod’s diagnosis was in 2013, at age 69, and Alberta was diagnosed when she was 70. Both claimed to have used RoundUp on their gardens and lawns for over three decades before being diagnosed in 1982.

When they learned of additional cancer reports that suggested a link in the treatment of RoundUp products, the couple decided to stop using RoundUp. RoundUp herbicide in the year 2016. The Pilliods then filed a suit against Monsanto, the producer of RoundUp, before Bayer acquired it. The Pilliod instance was just the third instance in its class to go to court, and a ruling was handed down in 2019.

After hearing contradictory medical testimony from outside experts and Monsanto representatives, The court ruled in Alva and Alberta’s favor.

In the beginning, Alberta Pilliod was awarded $37 million. Alva Pilliod received $18 million as financial compensation. The couple also received two billion dollars in punitive damage to compensate for the wrongful actions by Monsanto. However, it was later determined that the California Supreme Court places limits on specific types of damages, which were decreased to $86.2 million.

The Pilliod case was the third case before the jury. Since the time, Bayer, who acquired Monsanto in 2018, has resolved many RoundUp cases without going to the courtroom. The company’s pharmaceutical division has put an amount that could reach $2 billion in similar circumstances. Bayer has also announced a five-point strategy to resolve future and ongoing RoundUp litigation.

Monsanto’s Challenge and California’s Supreme Court Ruling

Bayer recently submitted an appeal to the Pilliod case, hoping that a review will alter or reduce the amount initially granted to the couple. Bayer argued on various points in their appeal, including the claim that the case of the Pilliods is preempted under federal law. Bayer asserted that the evidence presented in the trial did not adequately justify the company’s responsibility. The company also argued that the counsel’s actions representing the plaintiff’s lawyer were prejudicial.

In November 2021 in 2021, an appeals court in California denied the review. California appeals court refused to review the case and affirmed the $86 million damages previously granted to the Pilliod couple. The court of appeals stated that Monsanto, the company that was producing RoundUp in the pre-eminent timeframe, displayed an indifference to the safety of other people by failing to inform people about the carcinogenicity of RoundUp products that could be found in retail stores all over all across the U.S. Judge Marla Miller ruled against every argument made by Bayer and declared in her decision that California residents are still able to be able to sue Bayer for these reasons and as per the state’s consumer protection laws.

Bayer issued a statement stating that it disagreed with the ruling of the courts not to overturn the original order: “We continue to stand strongly behind the safety of Roundup, a position supported by assessments of expert regulators worldwide as well as the overwhelming weight of four decades of extensive science.”

Although they are still defending their RoundUp products, The pharmaceutical giant is planning to eliminate the glyphosate ingredient, which is the most likely cancer-causing ingredient used in RoundUp products that is a component of the consumer-based RoundUp products in 2023. In addition, the company has put aside an account to settle any future RoundUp lawsuits as they come up but has said it will increase its vigor in settlement negotiations.

What Does This Decision Mean for My RoundUp Case?

In the past, three notable RoundUp cases have been decided in favor of the plaintiffs who claim their cancer was caused by long-term exposure to RoundUp products. The California Supreme Court’s decision confirming a previous decision in favor of the Pilliods could indicate that Monsanto could not inform consumers of the possible hazards to their health and safety of the RoundUp product. But, every RoundUp case is individual. Whether or not this ruling can be interpreted as an indication of future rulings on similar RoundUp cases will depend on the particulars of your particular case.

For more information about RoundUp litigation or to discuss your case with a knowledgeable expert for product liability for assistance, call the office of The Justice Now. We offer a free assessment form to begin.

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