Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Bayer wins again in latest Roundup cancer trial

A jury handed Bayer its second trial victory over claims that its popular weed killer Roundup causes cancer.

(CN) — Roundup did not cause a San Bernardino woman’s cancer, a jury found Thursday, adding another tally to the winner’s column for Bayer over claims that its signature herbicide is carcinogenic.

Donnetta Stephens, of Yucaipa, California, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2017, which she attributed to 17 years of spraying Roundup twice a week in her yard. She sued Roundup maker Monsanto in 2020 for failing to warn her that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, could cause cancer.

Bayer AG, the German pharmaceutical conglomerate that owns Monsanto, announced last year that it would stop selling Roundup formulated with glyphosate in the U.S. consumer market by 2023.

But a jury decided that Roundup was not a substantial factor in Stephens' diagnosis.

“While we have great sympathy for Ms. Stephens, we agree with the jury that Roundup is not the cause of her illness,” a company spokesman said.

Stephens’ attorney, Fletch Trammell, told Reuters that he plans to appeal the judgment.

Wednesday’s verdict marks the second trial victory for Bayer, as a Los Angeles jury found in October that Roundup exposure did not cause 10 year-old Ezra Clark’s Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of pediatric cancer.

While the Environmental Protection Agency says humans are not likely to be sickened by Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified it as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015, spurring thousands of lawsuits in the United States.

The first three trials were held in the Bay Area, where juries found in favor of the plaintiffs in every instance and awarded millions in damages.

In June 2020, Bayer announced a $10 billion agreement to settle a bevy of claims related to Roundup users who have contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma. But this year, U.S. District Judge Vincent Chhabria refused to approve a $2 billion deal to resolve claims from Roundup users who have not developed cancer but may be diagnosed in the future.

Follow @MariaDinzeo
Categories / Consumers, Environment, Health, Trials

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.