Bayer Statement on Post-Trial Ruling in Pilliod v. Monsanto
Whippany (July 25, 2019) — The following is Bayer’s statement regarding a ruling in Pilliod v. Monsanto by Judge Winifred Smith in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Alameda to reduce the punitive, non- economic, and future medical damages in the case. The court reduced Mr. Pilliod’s non-economic damages from $18 million to $6.1 million and his punitive damage award from $1 billion to $24.5 million. The court reduced Mrs. Pilliod’s future medical damage award from $2.9 million to $50,000, her non-economic damages from $34 million to $11 million and her punitive damage award from $1 billion to $44.8 million – a result that reduces the total award in the case from $2.055 billion to $86.7 million.
“The Court’s decision to reduce the punitive, non-economic, and future medical damage awards is a step in the right direction, but 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. During argument on the post-trial motions, Bayer argued that the recent California Court of Appeal ruling in Echeverria, which found that a dispute over the science does not meet the clear and convincing standard required for a punitive award, supports the company’s position that there is no basis to award punitive damages in this case. Bayer plans to file an appeal with the California Court of Appeal.
“Bayer expects to appeal on multiple grounds, including that the causation determination and failure to warn claims cannot stand given that leading health regulators around the world have repeatedly concluded that Bayer’s glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely as directed and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, based on an extensive body of science spanning more than 40 years, including more than 100 studies EPA considered relevant to its cancer risk analysis, and more than 800 safety studies overall submitted to regulators. These health authorities include the U.S. EPA and its most recent April 2019 interim registration decision, as well as assessments by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), German BfR, Australian, Korean, Canadian, New Zealand and Japanese regulatory authorities and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR). In addition, EPA conducted a cancer risk assessment in 2017 following IARC’s opinion and concluded that glyphosate is ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,’ its most favorable rating.
“Significantly, the largest and most recent epidemiology studies, which are the most relevant research for assessing exposure effects in the human population, each found that there was no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and NHL overall in real-world use when adjusted for the use of other pesticides. These studies include the 2018 National Cancer Institute-supported Agricultural Health Study, which followed over 50,000 licensed pesticide applicators for more than 20 years; the 2019 Leon Agricoh Consortium study, which included over 300,000 pesticide applicators; and the 2019 North American Pooled Project, which combined data previously reported in earlier case control studies.”
Read the Court’s order here.