Oakland Couple Awarded $2 Billion in Monsanto Cancer Case: Did Your Family Member Get Monsanto Cancer TOO?

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Monsanto Cancer
FILE – In this Feb. 24, 2019, file photo, containers of Roundup are displayed on a store shelf in San Francisco. A Northern California jury ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. to pay a combined $2.05 billion to a couple who claimed the company’s popular weed killer Roundup Ready caused their cancers. The Oakland jury on Monday, May 13, 2019, delivered Monsanto’s third such loss in California since August. Alva and Alberta Pilliod claimed they used Roundup for more than 30 years to landscape. They were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Monsanto owner Bayer said it would appeal. (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)

Earlier this month an Oakland couple was awarded $2 billion in damages by a jury after their claim that Monsanto Co.’s Roundup Weed Killer gave them cancer. Alva and Alberta Pilliod were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma four years apart – Alva in 2011 and Alberta in 2015. The state court jury awarded them each $1 billion in punitive damages, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Alva, 76, and Alberta, 74, said they’d been using the product at their property in Northern California for decades, according to the New York Times. However, due to the cancer their lives have been drastically impacted.

“It changed our lives forever,” Alberta told AP. “We couldn’t do things we used to be able to do, and we really resent them for that.”

The verdict is the third in a line of lawsuits against Monsanto. In March a Sonoma County man was awarded $80 million and last August a judge awarded Dewayne Johnson, a former golf course keeper, $289 million. Johnson’s award was reduced by a judge to $78 million, but the verdict is being appealed.

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Experts believe the Pilliods’ award will also likely be reduced, but their lawyer R. Brent Wisner believes letting it stand would send a much-needed message to the company.

The judgments against Monsanto have come as a result of the jurors’ belief the company deliberately withheld scientific findings from the public that glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – could cause cancer.

The first three trials are among an estimated 13,000 pending lawsuits against Monsanto. One plaintiff, Georgia farmer Ricky McCombs, said he hoped he doesn’t die from his cancer before he gets his day in court. After the enormous fallout and a petition from Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt, retail giant Costco will stop selling Roundup products in its stores, People reported.

Anyone who has been using Roundup products is encouraged to closely monitor their health and report any diagnoses that could be associated with the pesticides.

Isheka N. Harrison
Image Attribution: FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2019, file photo, containers of Roundup are displayed on a store shelf in San Francisco. A Northern California jury ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. to pay a combined $2.05 billion to a couple who claimed the company's popular weed killer Roundup Ready caused their cancers. The Oakland jury on Monday, May 13, 2019, delivered Monsanto's third such loss in California since August. Alva and Alberta Pilliod claimed they used Roundup for more than 30 years to landscape. They were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Monsanto owner Bayer said it would appeal. (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File), FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2019, file photo, containers of Roundup are displayed on a store shelf in San Francisco. A Northern California jury ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. to pay a combined $2.05 billion to a couple who claimed the company's popular weed killer Roundup Ready caused their cancers. The Oakland jury on Monday, May 13, 2019, delivered Monsanto's third such loss in California since August. Alva and Alberta Pilliod claimed they used Roundup for more than 30 years to landscape. They were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Monsanto owner Bayer said it would appeal. (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)