After hearing 17 days of testimony, it took a California jury less than two days to come to a decision in favor of the plaintiffs in Pilliod v. Monsanto. The jury issued a verdict against Bayer, now owner of Monsanto, requiring the company to pay $2 billion in punitive damages to Alberta and Alva Pilliod on top of $55 million in compensatory damages for their economic losses and pain and suffering. It is the third recent victory against Monsanto and the largest verdict so far. There are more than 13,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits still pending.
“Malice, Oppression or Fraud”
The Pilliods developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after decades of using Roundup, which Monsanto has always claimed, and still claims, is perfectly safe. Alva was diagnosed with the cancer in 2011. It spread to his pelvis and his spine. The jury’s verdict included a substantial amount of compensation for the associated medical bills as well as the pain and suffering caused by the cancer. Punitive damages serve a different purpose.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer. They are not even available in most cases. In order to award punitive damages in this case, the jury had to find that Monsanto acted with “malice, oppression or fraud”.
Monsanto Knew, The World Knows, and the EPA Continues to Pretend that Roundup is Safe
Roundup is a glyphosate-based herbicide. Internal documents show that Monsanto knew about the connection between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for decades. Evidence in the Pilliod case showed that the company intentionally hid the risks from consumers.
More disturbing is the evidence presented showing that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was aware of what Monsanto was up to and was helping them hide the danger Roundup poses to the American people.
Roundup has been banned in several countries, but the EPA went to great lengths to keep it on the shelves here in the U.S. Documents unsealed by a judge in 2017 revealed that the agency was successful in stopping a review of the dangers of the weed killer that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had planned.
This Affects All of Us
If you think you are safe from the dangers of glyphosate because you do not engage in agricultural activities or you choose not to use Roundup and similar products, you are sorely wrong. It’s bad enough that Monsanto pulled the wool over the eyes of so many innocent people who used Roundup for farming, in their gardens or at work, and those people are now developing cancer as a result. But it looks like the problem goes much farther. According to internal documents obtained by the Guardian through a freedom of information request, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been quietly testing our food for glyphosate residue and so far, has found the herbicide in nearly every food it has tested.
If you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after Roundup exposure, please talk to an experienced defective product attorney today to learn more about how you can help hold Monsanto accountable for the harm it has knowingly caused and the compensation you may be able to recover.