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CA Jury Orders Monsanto to Pay $2 Billion in Damages


Roundup is a popular glyphosate-based weed killer and pesticide that was first introduced to the agricultural market in 1976. However, scientific studies have since linked glyphosate with various cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, B-cell lymphoma, and leukemia. While workers and hobbyists who use Roundup regularly are at the greatest risk, scientific evidence suggests that even a single exposure event can increase a person’s chances of developing a fatal disease.

Since 2017, over 13,000 product liability and wrongful death claims have been filed against Monsanto, the creator of Roundup. Allegedly, Monsanto was aware of their product’s carcinogenic properties, failed to warn the public, and even falsified scientific reports to hide the connection between glyphosate and the proliferation of cancer cells.

As of May 13, 2019, there have been 3 game-changing verdicts that have monetarily held Monsanto liable for their negligence:

  • On August 10, 2018, Dewayne Johnson was awarded $289 million in damages (which was later cut down to $78 million on appeal) after a jury in San Francisco ruled that Monsanto had failed to adequately warn customers about the dangers associated with their product.
  • On March 27, 2019, Edwin Hardeman was awarded $80 million after his lawyers argued that Roundup was a substantial factor in his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis.
  • On May 13, 2019, a jury ordered Bayer (who purchased Monsanto) to pay the Pilliods $2 billion in damages for failing to inform consumers of the possible carcinogenicity of Roundup.

The Pillard Case

Alva Pilliod (76) and his wife Alberta (74) used Roundup for over 30 years before being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After two days of deliberations, the jury voted 11-1 and found Monsanto responsible for the Pilliods’ respective conditions. Both parties were awarded $1 billion in punitive damages and an additional $55 million for their pain and suffering and economic losses.  

Alva Pilliod discussed the lawsuit with Bob Egelko, a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle. She claims, “We wouldn’t have used it if the product had come with a warning label” but “from their adds, we felt that Roundup was incredibly safe to use. It changed our lives forever. We couldn’t do things we used to be able to do, and we really resent [Monsanto] for that.”

Unfortunately, Monsanto plans to appeal this verdict, which means that the $2 billion in punitive damages will likely be reduced. As Egelko summarizes: “At a minimum, the $2 billion in punitive damages are almost certain to be reduced substantially, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that damages to punish a defendant for malicious conduct should generally be no more than 10 times the damages awarded to compensate plaintiffs for their losses.”

Even so, the family will still recover a large sum of money that can facilitate their physical and financial recoveries. Their attorney, Brent Wisner, adds that Monsanto makes $892 million a year, and only litigation and monetary punishments can truly hold this company accountable for their negligence and lies.

Do You Require Legal Representation? Contact Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC

The Pilliods’ case is both the latest and largest judgment against the Monsanto company. Many claimants are excited because it sets a positive precedent for future litigations and potential plaintiff recoveries. If you or a loved one has suffered harm after using a Monsanto product, contact the Wichita product liability lawyers at Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC. Establishing liability in such a high-profile case can be incredibly challenging without qualified legal representation. We can investigate your case, collect evidence, and calculate your injury-related expenses to ensure you recover a settlement or verdict that safeguards your quality of life.

Contact Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC at (316) 688-1166 to schedule a free consultation. Our trial-tested legal team works on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay unless we win!