Bayer Statement on Filing a Petition for Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court in Pilliod
On March 17, 2022, Bayer – through its subsidiary Monsanto – filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court in its appeal of the Pilliod verdict. Bayer’s statement on the filing is as follows:
“The California state court’s decision in Pilliod warrants review by the U.S. Supreme Court because the state-based failure-to-warn claims at the center of the case are preempted by federal law and the punitive damages award is excessive and violates the U.S. Constitution.
“With regard to the label, the U.S. EPA has consistently found that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and are not carcinogenic. The plaintiffs’ state-based claims regarding the absence of a cancer warning are therefore preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the federal statute regulating herbicides and their labels.
“The petition is also the first Roundup™ case to challenge the constitutionality of a punitive damages award in the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition explains that the award here is unconstitutional both because it is impermissibly high (four times the substantial compensatory damages award) and because no punitive damages award is proper, as the company acted in accordance with the scientific and regulatory consensus regarding the safety of its product.
“The petition in Pilliod follows a similar filing in Hardeman. In that case, the Supreme Court, in an encouraging sign, called for the views of the U.S. Solicitor General on behalf of the United States on whether the Court’s review is warranted. The company believes there are strong legal arguments to support Supreme Court review and reversal of both the Hardeman and the Pilliod verdicts. Monsanto has also won the last two cases in the Roundup™ litigation to go to trial, Clark and Stephens, and has reached agreements to resolve the vast majority of claims.”