The problems continue to worsen for the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer since the acquisition of Monsanto last June for $ 62.5 billion.
On Wednesday, more than 11,200 people filed lawsuits against its controversial Roundup, a weed herbicide, which had been associated with cancer in some people.
Last August, a California jury found that the company's Roundup and Ranger Pro products presented a "substantial danger" to Dewayne "Lee" Johnson, a 46-year-old terminally ill, who developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using the spray. plus two years as a gardener.
In this photo of July 9, 2018, plaintiff Dewayne Johnson, on the right, reacts while lawyer Brent Wisner, who we do not see, talks about his condition at the Monsanto trial in San Francisco. Monsanto is accused of concealing the dangers of his famous Ro (Josh Edelson / Pool Photo via AP)
The jurors felt that the company knew or ought to have known about the potential risks of the products.
Johnson first received $ 289 million, but this amount was later reduced to $ 78 million.
Since Johnson's case made headlines in the national press, Bayer has been inundated with other lawsuits.
More than 1,900 were filed in the last three months alone. Bayer is already back in federal court this week in San Francisco to hear the case of Edwin Hardeman, 70, who also believes that Roundup has given him cancer. Six other trials are scheduled to begin this year as well.
A spokesman for Bayer told FOX Business that he wanted to "re-emphasize the fact that we do not agree with the verdict in the Johnson case. So we appealed. And we will continue to vigorously defend ourselves in all other proceedings. "
Bayer added that glyphosate, Roundup's controversial active ingredient, "is a safe product" and "that many scientific studies and independent assessments of regulators around the world carried out over a longer period of time. 40 years old ".
However, glyphosate has been under surveillance for years. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, identified the ingredient as a "probable carcinogen".
Bayer's stock has fallen more than 27% since the defeat of the first courtroom in August.
Timothy Litzenburg, Johnson's attorney, who beat Monsanto in court, told FOX Business in August that appeals were pouring in and he already had thousands of cases for years to come.
"My current goal is to try to judge as many cases as possible," he said. But he added that this case was not just about money for him or his client.
Johnson, a father of three, wanted the world to know about Roundup and the side effects of using the spray.
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"He wanted people to know, and he felt like he had the same burden of spreading this chemical in school classes for so long," Litzenburg said.