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Bayer ordered to pay $175 million in latest Roundup cancer trial

Logo of German drugmaker Bayer AG in Leverkusen

By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) -A Philadelphia jury on Friday found Bayer AG liable in a case brought by a retired restaurant owner who claimed his cancer was due to exposure to the company's Roundup weed killer, and ordered Bayer to pay him $175 million in damages, the man's lawyers said.

The verdict, for retired restaurant owner Ernest Caranci, includes $25 million in compensatory damages and $150 million in punitive damages.

A Bayer spokesperson said in a statement that the company disagreed with the verdict and was "confident we can get this unfounded verdict overturned and the excessive damage awards reduced through our appeal."

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Caranci's lawyers said in a joint statement that they were pleased with the verdict.

Caranci had alleged that he developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma as a result of using Roundup in his garden for years.

Last week, the company was hit with a $1.25 million verdict in a separate Roundup trial. Before that, it had won nine consecutive trials over similar claims.

Roundup-related lawsuits have dogged Bayer since it acquired the brand as part of its $63 billion purchase of agricultural seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto Co in 2018.

The German conglomerate has said that decades of studies have shown Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, are safe for human use.

Bayer settled most Roundup claims against it in 2020 for up to $10.9 billion, but still faces close to 40,000 Roundup-related cases.

It has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court unsuccessfully, in an effort to challenge plaintiffs' ability to sue under state law.

(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New YorkEditing by Chris Reese, Alexia Garamfalvi and David Gregorio)