Roundup Cancer Verdict Slashed by Pennsylvania Judge to $400 Million – Appeal to Keep it at $2.25 Billion

NEW YORK, New York- A Pennsylvania judge made a significant decision on Tuesday regarding the multi-billion dollar U.S. verdict against Bayer, reducing it from $2.25 billion to $400 million for a Pennsylvania man who claimed to have developed cancer from using the company’s Roundup weedkiller. The verdict, reached by a jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, determined that John McKivison’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma stemmed from his use of Roundup for yard work over several years, resulting in an initial compensation and punitive fee of $250 million and $2 billion, respectively.

Judge Susan Schulman responded to Bayer’s post-trial motions by lowering the compensatory damages to $50 million and the punitive damages to $350 million. Bayer expressed its intention to appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, citing the trial court’s decision to allow what it claimed to be misguiding and “inflammatory” testimony as an issue.

Despite the reduction in the amount of the jury’s verdict, McKivison’s attorneys, Tom Kline and Jason Itkin, were content with Schulman’s decision to uphold the jury’s conclusion that Roundup causes cancer. They plan to challenge the ruling in an appeal, seeking the reinstatement of the $2.25 billion jury verdict.

Bayer has defended Roundup, stating that numerous studies over the years have affirmed the safety of Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, for human use. While the company phased out sales of Roundup for home use last year, it has emerged victorious in 14 of the past 20 Roundup trials. However, a series of losses in late 2023 and early 2024 resulted in hefty verdicts totaling over $4 billion, disrupting the company’s winning streak and causing significant financial setbacks.

The string of lawsuits raised against Bayer resulted in about 165,000 claims in the U.S. for personal injuries linked to Roundup, which Bayer gained through its acquisition of U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto in 2018. Most plaintiffs, including McKivison, alleged that the product led to non-Hodgkins lymphoma. In an effort to address the pending cases, Bayer settled most of the then-existing Roundup cases in 2020 for up to $9.6 billion, failing to reach a settlement that encompassed future claims. As a result, more than 50,000 claims are still pending.