Monsanto’s Roundup litigation has begun to present a near-existential issue for its corporate parent Bayer. When the German company purchased the American chemical manufacturer, it inherited all of its past, present and future liabilities. One of these liabilities concerns the pesticide Roundup, which is alleged to cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after extended exposure.
Monsanto has lost several high-profile lawsuits recently, and the jury awards have been eye-popping. One married couple was awarded $2 billion by a jury for their cases of cancer. Even after a judge reduced the verdict, the company was still assessed a damages award of nearly $90 million. There have been several other verdicts that, even after appeals, have remained in the tens of millions of dollars. Much of the damage amount consist of punitive damages assessed by the juries.
Monsanto now faces over 18,000 lawsuits relating to this product. The company’s predicament has only been worsening as there have been over 5,000 lawsuits alone that have been filed between July and the first half of August. Roundup lawsuits continue to make headlines and the publicity has encouraged more plaintiffs to lawsuits for compensation.