Monsanto ordered to pay $2 bn in latest Roundup blow

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Bayer shares fell by as much as 5 percent on Tuesday after a California couple were awarded more than $2 billion in the largest USA jury penalty over allegations its Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

It's the largest jury award in the far this year and the eighth-largest ever in a product-defect claim, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The jury awarded each of them $1bn in punitive damages as well as a total of $55m in compensatory damages.

That figure, which consists of $3 billion in punitive damages and $79 million in compensatory ones, is all but certain to be reduced by the trial judge or on appeal-University of California, Hastings School of Law professor David Levine told the Associated Press there is "There is zero chance it will stand".

Bayer's stock price hit an nearly seven-year low Tuesday, in the wake of a third USA jury verdict that found its Roundup weedkiller to be a cause of people's cancer.

In a statement, Bayer said it was disappointed with the jury's decision and would appeal the verdict, which it argues was at odds with a recent US Environmental Protection Agency review of glyphosate-based weed killers.

The jury awarded $2.055 billion to Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a northern California couple who had used Roundup weed killer product for 35 years, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

"By now, most Bayer executives, its board and shareholders must all be questioning the decision to acquire Monsanto and its mounting liability over its cancer-causing weedkiller", Cook said.

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Police then searched the home of the 30-year-old female victim in north Germany , where two more bodies were found. DPA reported that prosecutors have ordered an autopsy.

EPA's conclusion is based on a database of more than 800 studies on glyphosate and Bayer's glyphosate-based herbicides that relate to human and mammalian health, and its 2017 cancer risk assessment also examined numerous studies in the open literature.

The verdict came the same day that Bayer admitted that its Monsanto could have kept lists of key political figures - for or against pesticides - in European countries.

The award was the latest in a series of court defeats for Monsanto over Roundup.

The company said both Alva and Alberta Pilliod had long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The plaintiffs in the case, Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore, California, said they used Roundup once a week for nine months of the year for more than three decades before being given their cancer diagnoses in 2011 and 2015 respectively, according to BuzzFeed News.

"They were given an incredibly hard task having to analyze the highly-complex scientific issues in this case", said co-lead trial counsel R. Brent Wisner, of Baum Hedlund Law, in a statement after the verdict. They were both found to have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"But rather than act on this body of evidence", Hauter said, "the EPA continues to side with the chemical industry and recently announced it will continue to allow glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, to be sold". Thousands of similar cases are pending at the federal or state level. The verdict comes about a month and a half after a jury awarded $80 million to another person, Edwin Hardeman, who has cancer.