By Matt Grossman

 

Bayer AG has lost an appeal of a California jury verdict that tied the use of its Roundup weedkiller to cancer, a setback for the German chemicals company as it plans to bring its defense of the product to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Monday, an appeals court in California upheld the jury's verdict in a case brought by a husband and wife who both developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after years of using Roundup on their property. The couple, Alberta and Alva Pilliod, had been awarded about $86 million in damages.

The case is one of a handful in which state-court juries have found that Roundup contributed to a user's cancer diagnosis. Bayer inherited the Roundup weedkiller brand as part of its 2018 acquisition of Monsanto. The company says the compound at issue in the Roundup litigation, glyphosate, is safe, and it continues to sell weedkiller that includes the chemical.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling as the verdict is not supported by the evidence at trial or the law," a spokeswoman for Bayer said of the appeals court's decision.

Last month, Bayer said it is setting aside an additional $4.5 billion to cover expenses arising from Roundup litigation. Those funds add to the $11.6 billion Bayer had previously said it could pay.

Bayer has also said it will appeal a case similar to the Pilliods' to the U.S. Supreme Court this month.

In part, Bayer has argued in the cases that state-court jury verdicts should be pre-empted by federal law, because the federal Environmental Protection Agency has said glyphosate doesn't pose a health risk.

 

Write to Matt Grossman at matt.grossman@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 10, 2021 07:22 ET (11:22 GMT)

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