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Update: California Couple Awarded $2 Billion in Roundup Case

Jury agrees, couple’s cancer was caused by the popular Bayer herbicide, Roundup.

Bayer, manufacturer of the popular herbicide Roundup was rocked by yesterday’s verdict awarding a California couple $2 billion settlement in a story we brought you a month ago. The couple claims use of the product caused their cancer. Bayer plans to appeal this decision, however some see this recent verdict as a sign that the company should move on to settle the other outstanding cases.

About the Plaintiffs

The jury’s verdict is the third defeat for Bayer in California since last August. Although it’s likely the appellate court will significantly reduce the award, an Oakland jury agrees Roundup weed killer has caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Alva Pilliod and Alberta Pilliod. The couple’s award includes $1 billion each in punitive damages with an additional $55 million total in compensatory damages.

Plaintiff Alberta Pilliod, 76, says the cancer has affected both of their lives as individuals and as a couple. Pilliod and her husband Alva have been living with cancer for the last nine years and the quality of their lives has been significantly diminished. “It changed our lives forever. We couldn’t do things we used to be able to do, and we really resent them for that.”

Thousands More Cases to Come

The Pilliod’s case is the largest Roundup settlement award so far. The company faces more lawsuits from about 13,400 plaintiffs. As a result, Bayer saw the market respond immediately when news of the verdict hit. Stock prices fell more than two percent on Tuesday. What this means for the long term is uncertain, especially with the thousands of cases looming overhead. What is known at the present time is Bayer stocks have dropped more than 45 percent over the last year.

The company sees the writing on the wall, but they have hope and are looking toward the future. In a statement issued Monday, the company says it is “disappointed with the jury’s decision,” however, they will appeal the verdict. In March, a federal jury ordered Bayer to pay a Sonoma County man $80 million as a result of illness contracted from use of Roundup. Last year, another jury awarded $289 million to a golf course greenskeeper whose cancer is attributed to Bayer’s Roundup Ready herbicide. That award was later reduced to $89 million.

Do you have any thoughts or news on the Roundup lawsuits and verdicts? Contact us for more information! Feel free to shoot us an email to, find us onTwitter, FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website!

About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!

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