Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Winifred Y. Smith, reduced a $2 billion award to a couple who developed cancer after using Roundup weed-killer, to $86.7 million.
Judge Smith cut the amount of the reward because the judgment that was given by an Oakland jury in May had drastically exceeded legal precedent. However, she still supported the jury’s finding that Monsanto was at fault for Alva and Alberta Pilloid’s cancer, and that the company attempted to hide evidence about Roundup’s health risks.
“In this case there was clear and convincing evidence that Monsanto made efforts to impede, discourage, or distort scientific inquiry and the resulting science,” Smith wrote in her order.
The Pilloids had been using Roundup for decades and said that they went through about a gallon of Roundup per week over the course of 30 years. Alva developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011. Four years later, Alberta found out that she had nonHodgkin lymphoma brain cancer. They’re both in remission now.
Bayer, the company that acquired Monsanto, continues to deny that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, causes cancer and says that it’s safe for humans to use.
“We continue to believe that the verdict and damage awards are not supported by the evidence at trial and conflict with the extensive body of reliable science and conclusions of leading health regulators worldwide that confirms glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic,” Bayer said in a statement.
This isn’t the first time Monsanto has been under fire for Roundup. In March, a California man who said Roundup gave him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, won an $80 million judgment. Last August, a former groundskeeper who said the product was to blame for his terminal cancer won a $289 million judgment, which was later reduced to $78 million.