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Bayer scored a partial victory in its long-running authorized battle over allegations that its Roundup pesticide causes most cancers, after a California decide slashed the damages awarded in the most expensive case up to now for the German chemical substances and prescribed drugs group from $2bn to $87m.
The choice reverses — not less than partially — a jury verdict handed down in Might that shocked Bayer traders and triggered yet one more sharp slide within the group’s share worth. It was the third ruling in a row that discovered a causal hyperlink between Bayer’s glyphosate-based weed killer and most cancers, and the largest authorized setback up to now. The 2 earlier rulings, additionally made by California juries, had imposed a lot decrease damages.
The most recent case entails Alva and Alberta Pilliod, an aged US couple affected by non-Hodgkin lymphoma after years of publicity to Roundup. In Might, the jury awarded them $1bn every in punitive damages, in addition to tens of millions of to cowl medical prices and non-economic injury.
In an announcement, Bayer stated it welcomed the decide’s resolution as a “step in the precise route”, however that it might nonetheless file an attraction to have your entire verdict overturned. The German group has insisted all alongside that glyphosate-based pesticides are secure to be used.
“The courtroom’s resolution to cut back the punitive, non-economic, and future medical injury awards is a step in the precise route, however we proceed to consider that the decision and injury awards will not be supported by the proof at trial and battle with the intensive physique of dependable science and conclusions of main well being regulators worldwide,” Bayer stated.
A discount within the damages award within the Pilliod case had been extensively anticipated. The US Supreme Court docket has dominated up to now that punitive damages shouldn’t exceed compensatory damages by an element of greater than 9. Within the Pilliod case, the punitive component — $2bn in complete — exceeded the compensatory award of $55m by an element of 37.
Bayer’s shares have misplaced greater than a 3rd of their worth over the previous 12 months, largely because of the authorized danger related to Roundup. There are at the moment greater than 13,000 comparable circumstances pending in US courts.
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