Roundup Verdict Drastically Reduced by Philadelphia Judge

by | Jun 17, 2024


A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge has reduced the $2.25 billion verdict against Monsanto to $404 million after the weed killer manufacturer argued the award was constitutionally excessive.

In her order, Judge Susan I. Schulman threw out the initial $250 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages and instead awarded the plaintiff $50 million in compensatory damages, $350 million in punitive damages, and another $4 million in “delay damages.”

After a January 2024 trial in which the plaintiff, John McKivison argued that he developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma after using Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weed killer, Roundup while doing yard work, the 12-member jury awarded him $2.25 billion. Monsanto immediately filed post-verdict motions asking the court for remittitur, contending that the outsized verdict was the result of improper testimony and statements that were allowed by the trial judge that served to inflame the jury. Notwithstanding the reduction, Monsanto states that it will appeal the liability verdict, maintaining that its compliance with federal labeling requirements should protect it from liability. The company further argues that years of studies prove that Roundup and specifically its active ingredient glyphosate, do not cause cancer.

For their part, plaintiff’s counsel state that they will seek to reinstate the original $2.25 billion verdict, noting that the drastic reduction represents a departure from established Pennsylvania law.

Although Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer AG, settled the majority of the 165,000 pending Roundup claims in 2020 for $9.6 billion, more than 50,000 future cases remain outstanding.


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