Hello, this is Roger Ghai, and I practice in the area of pharmaceutical cases, bad drugs and defective products. I practice here in Atlanta, Georgia, and we handle the cases from throughout the United States. I wanted today this morning to give an update on the status of the Roundup litigation. And preliminarily, just as a little bit of background, as many of you know, the Roundup was used as a weed killer. Both, it was used commercially, sometimes by farmers or by professional lawn care companies, as well as individuals. The status of the litigation right now is that number one, there have been several verdicts in which juries have actually found that the Roundup product has caused cancer.
And in fact, in California, in October of 2018, the first case was won. And the plaintiff in that case was Dewayne Lee Johnson. The verdict that the California jury awarded him was $289 million. And the pharmaceutical company, Bayer AG. In this case, the German pharmaceutical company giant, they appealed that decision. And on appeal, the award was reduced to $78 million. And Mr. Johnson has now appealed that decision reducing. So that’s one aspect of the litigation. There were two other verdicts.
One other verdict that that comes to mind right away is the $2 billion, 55 million verdict also in California. And in that case, that case involved a husband and wife who had both used the noncommercial Roundup around their yard and their lawn and everything for several years, using many times not fully covered clothing. In other words, they were, during the summertime, spraying their lawn with the product while they were wearing shorts and short t-shirts and things of that nature. The jury in that case awarded actually $55 million in what we call compensatory damages. That was for their pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses. But they also, interestingly, penalized Bayer AG on $1 billion for each of the parties. The husband received a billion dollars in punitive damages. The wife received a punitive damages, a billion dollars. Because they felt, that is the jury felt, that the defendant’s conduct in this case was just outrageous and it was very egregious.
So in making those arguments to the jury as to why the … Those are huge sums of money, obviously, but what a jury will look at in determining how much to penalize a company for corporate wrongdoing is the jury will be entitled to look at what the total financial income is of the corporation and to penalize that corporation accordingly. So that’s sort of the status on that.
The last, I guess, update on the Roundup litigation that I’d like to note is that the company was in negotiations to settle thousands of cases of the Roundup cases throughout the country with various plaintiffs’ firms. However, they have recently apparently reneged, or they’re trying to renege on some of these agreements in light of the COVID-19 situation. And what I mean by that is that because of the coronavirus, the courthouses are slowed down, shut down, no jury trials are presently being held. And so Bayer AG has definitely used that to their full advantage. But I believe, in my opinion, that’s going to be only a temporary advantage. And once the court houses start opening up again, I think more juries will find Bayer AG to be culpable for this product causing cancer. And I think at that point then Bayer AG will enter some serious negotiations once again with the plaintiffs’ firms, and these cases ultimately will come to a successful resolution.
If you have questions about this type of litigation or any of the other types of litigation, maybe you’ve taken a drug which did not work out for you, it caused some adverse effects, whether it possibly caused cancer or kidney damage or liver damage or some other type of severe injury, you can call my office at 770-792-1000.