A jury on Monday ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. to pay a combined $2.05 billion to a couple claiming that the company’s popular weed killer Roundup Ready caused their cancers. The jury’s verdict is third such courtroom loss for Monsanto in California since August. The state court jury in Oakland concluded that Monsanto’s weed killer caused the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma Alva Pilliod and Alberta Pilliod each contracted. Jurors awarded them each $1 billion in punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.
A federal jury in San Francisco ordered the weed killer maker in March to pay a Sonoma County man $80 million. A San Francisco jury last August awarded $289 million to a former golf course greens keeper who blamed his cancer on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide. A judge later reduced the award to $89 million. The three California trials were the first of an estimated 13,000 lawsuits pending against Monsanto across the country to go to trial. St. Louis-based Monsanto is owned by the German chemical giant Bayer A.G.