JEFFERSON (dpa-AFX) – A US jury has ordered the pharmaceutical and agricultural company Bayer to pay more than 1.5 billion US dollars in a glyphosate lawsuit. Three former users of the weedkiller Roundup were awarded corresponding payments on Friday. They blamed the controversial product for their cancer. The jury at the federal court in Jefferson City (Missouri) awarded James Draeger, Valorie Gunther and Dan Anderson a total of 61.1 million dollars in compensatory damages and 500 million dollars each in punitive damages. Juries in the USA often award plaintiffs large sums, which judges often later reduce.
“The verdict will not stand and we will definitely appeal against it,” Bayer said on Sunday in response to an inquiry. The amount of punitive damages alone violates the US Constitution. “Unlike previous cases, the courts in the recent cases have improperly allowed plaintiffs to misrepresent the regulatory and scientific facts,” the company said in a statement.
Bayer has “strong arguments” to have the recent rulings overturned. The company has won nine of the last 13 court cases and settled the majority of the lawsuits. “We will continue to defend the robust scientific and regulatory evidence in court, on appeal if necessary,” the DAX-listed company said. Bayer remained convinced of the safety of glyphosate.
Bayer brought the problems surrounding the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup into the company in 2018 with the Monsanto takeover, which cost…