A loss of $ 2,055 million: Bayer loses again for glyphosate and still has 13,000 lawsuits ahead
Bayer has just suffered another millionaire judicial defeat. 2,055 million dollars is what the German multinational will have to pay in another of the lawsuits that accuse Roundup, the brand with which Monsanto marketed glyphosate, of causing tens of thousands of cancers throughout the United States.
It is the third judicial defeat over glyphosate that Bayer has accumulated since the purchase of Monsanto and it does not appear that it will be the last. 13,000 identical lawsuits await their turn in a judicial crisis that, as we said, has become a real problem for German pharmaceuticals.
Defeat after defeat
The case Alva Pilliod (76 years old) and Alberta Pilliod (74) were diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2011 and 2015 respectively, with only four years of difference. Both lymphomas are in remission right now, but the couple alleges that behind these diseases is continued exposure to Roundup for the more than three decades that they used it on their land.
The defense, for its part, has pointed to the couple's numerous family history and the fact that even today glyphosate is considered safe by European and American regulators as long as it is used properly. Recall that glyphosate is on the WHO 'probably carcinogenic' list, but that all studies point out that in gardening doses it is not dangerous at all.
Failure. The jury verdict we have met this week accuses Monsanto of failing to warn of the dangers of its product at the time and condemns it to pay compensation of $ 2 billion in punitive damages and another $ 55 million in compensatory damages. However, Bayer has already announced that it will appeal the ruling while expressing its disappointment with the verdict and that it "will continue to evaluate and improve its legal strategies."
The third is not defeated. The problem for Bayer is that there are no longer one or two tribunals that have ruled against them: there are three and the sum will grow in the coming years unless one of the higher judicial instances change the general criteria. That is to say, the judicial future of the company is predicted quite hard. And that, according to the current scientific consensus, when the herbicide is used correctly it is perfectly safe.
But, as the experts point out, a fundamental problem is being created: beyond the alarm created by this news, what we are seeing is how an ever-widening gap is opened between jurisprudence and contemporary science. Can two institutions as basic as these coexist for a long time if each considers radically different things "proven facts"? Judicial processes, regulatory agencies, investigation centers and legislators are on the way to a train crash that will only be resolved after a profound reform.
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