A couple from California was recently awarded by the jury $2.06 billion. The couple ended up taking pharmaceutical giant Bayer to court, blaming that the widely used weedkiller, Roundup, cause their Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Although Pharmaceuticals aren’t strangers to lawsuits, this case surprises Pharma because of the amount that the jury decided to award them. A financial blow to Bayer. Bayer has continued to fight similar cases, as investors continue to pressure Bayer over its decision to purchase Roundup maker Monsanto.
The jury believed that there was enough evidence to award the plantiff. That Roundup was a ‘substantial factor’ leading to their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Seventy-six year old Alva, and his wife Alberta who is seventy-four said that they used Roundup for almost 30 years at their home. Alva was diagnosed in 2011, and his wife was diagnosed four years later. They are in remission now.
Bayer released a statement, which claimed that the couple already had “long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” and with this statement, they countered the blame that glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, is linked to cancer.
An attorney for the couple claimed, in a statement that was sent to CBS news, that the jurists saw that Monsanto showed no interest in investigating whether Roundup was safe or not. He indicated that the jury checked corporate documents whether Monsanto was investigating Roundups linkage to cancer. The lawyer stated that “instead of investing in sound science, they invested millions in attacking science that threatened their business agenda.”
The verdict given in California over the safety of Roundup, is the third straight trial loss for Bayer. The first loss was when a groundskeeper sued Bayer over Roundup after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2014, he was awarded $78.5 million. Bayer now faces repercussion from shareholders who question over its decision to purchase Monsanto for $66 Billion earlier this year. Since its purchase of Monsanto, Bayer is now facing more than 13,400 cases stating that Roundup led to their cancer.
Bayer’s stock price continues to be a punching bag, Bayer’s stock had dropped more than 30% since it lost its first case against the groundskeeper. The drop in its share price has led many investors to revolt over management decisions, in the previous month, Bayer shareholders refused to approve decisions of the management, which means that the investors are lacking trust in how the company is being run. In April, 55.5% of the investors that attended the annual meeting held in Bonn, Germany, voted not in favor of the management’s course of action in 2018. The disapproval symbolized the management’s decisions in 2018, it was Bayer’s lowest management approval rating it has ever had.
Roundup is not the only legal issue that Bayer has faced from Monsanto. On Monday, the company chose to hire an outside law firm, to investigate the claim that Monsanto had compiled a list of 200 effective figures to sway the general opinions of the public on their pesticides.
A wake up call for Bayer to work smarter and harder. Despite all this, investors still have confidence that the management can fight off the cases.
It was only after an internal review, that Bayer made a standard public apology, and claimed that this list was not compiled illegally.
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