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California jury says Bayer must pay $2 bln to couple in Roundup cancer trial

Credit: REUTERS/BENOIT TESSIER

A California jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, marking the third consecutive U.S. jury verdict against the company in litigation over the chemical.

By Tina Bellon

May 13 (Reuters) - A California jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG's BAYGn.DE glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, marking the third consecutive U.S. jury verdict against the company in litigation over the chemical.

The jury in San Francisco Superior Court in Oakland said the company was liable for plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod's contracting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a spokeswoman for the couple said.

It awarded $18 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages to Alva Pilliod and $37 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages to his wife, Alberta Pilliod.

The jury found Roundup had been defectively designed, that the company failed to warn of the herbicide's cancer risk and that the company acted negligently.

Bayer, which bought Roundup-maker Monsanto last year for $63 billion, faces more than 13,400 U.S. lawsuits over the herbicide's alleged cancer risk.

Bayer denies the allegations, saying decades of studies by the company and independent scientists have shown glyphosate and Roundup to be safe for human use. Bayer also points to several regulators around the world that found glyphosate not carcinogenic to humans.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York Editing by Leslie Adler)

((Tina.Bellon@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 573 5029; Reuters Messaging: tina.bellon.thomsonreuters@reuters.net; Twitter @TinaBellon))

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