Bayer welcomes judge’s call for new trial in $2 billion glyphosate case

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the facade of the historic headquarters of the German pharmaceutical and chemical maker in Leverkusen, Germany, May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE) on Friday welcomed a conditional ruling by a U.S. judge calling for a retrial of the case of a couple awarded $2 billion in damages by a jury who found that its glyphosate-based weedkiller caused their cancer.

Shares in Bayer were up 1.4% in early Frankfurt trade.

Judge Winifred Y. Smith, of California’s Alameda County Superior Court, ruled that the case of Alva and Alberta Pilliod should be retried, citing misconduct by a lawyer for the plaintiff and concerns around the scale of damages awarded.

“The court’s tentative order proposes changes in the damage awards, which would be a step in the right direction,” Bayer said in a statement. “Bayer will wait for a final order on the post-trial motions before commenting in further detail.”

Bayer attached a copy of the court ruling to its statement.

Bayer had asked Judge Smith in June to overrule the jury verdict that its Roundup weedkiller caused the couple’s non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), arguing the decision was not supported by the evidence.

The German drugmaker and chemicals company said in court filings at the time that the massive verdict was based on “inflammatory, fabricated and irrelevant evidence” from the couple’s lawyers.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Michelle Martin

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