Bayer wins second straight verdict in a Roundup cancer case

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(Reuters) – A California jury found that Bayer (OTC:BAYRY)’s Roundup weedkiller was not the cause of a woman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Bayer said on Thursday, delivering the chemical giant its second trial victory over claims the popular herbicide causes cancer.

The jury in San Bernardino County found that Donnetta Stephens’ cancer was not caused by her exposure between 1985 and 2017 to Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate.

She sued the company for negligence and failing to warn her of the dangers of Roundup.

“Despite everyone’s best efforts, it was impossible to try a coherent case via Zoom with our schedule,” said Fletch Trammell, Stephens’ attorney. “We plan to appeal and look forward to trying the case again in more favorable circumstances.”

Trammell noted similar cases typically took weeks to try and the Stephens case took more than four months due to technical problems and long breaks.

Bayer said the verdict was consistent with the evidence.

The Stephens case is the fifth over Roundup to go to a trial verdict.

Plaintiffs were awarded tens of millions of dollars in the first three but Bayer got its first favorable trial outcome on Oct. 5, which lifted the company’s stock price.

The company said in May it would be more selective in settling cases and had said Stephens settlement demands were unreasonable.

Roundup-related lawsuits have dogged the company since it acquired the top-selling brand as part of its $63 billion purchase of agricultural seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto (NYSE:MON) in 2018.

The company has spent billions of dollars to settle around 96,000 Roundup cases of about 125,000.

Bayer is still pursuing appeals in two of the three verdicts it lost, including one the company hopes will be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, where a ruling for Bayer could effectively end the Roundup cases.