(Reuters) – A judge in California on Thursday reduced a $ 2 billion judge's decision, and wounded the price of a couple who accused Bayer AG ( BAYGn.DE ) of the glyphosate-based root order Roundup for the cancer 86, $ 7 million.
FILE PHOTO: Monsanto's Roundup is shown for sale in Encinitas, California, USA, June 26, 2017. REUTERS / Mike Blake / File Photo
Court Judge Winifred Smith of the California Superior Court in Oakland said the jury's award of Billions of dollars worth of punishment were excessive and unconstitutional, but rejected Bayer's request to turn the sentence directly.
Under Smith's final order, California's Alva and Alberta Pilliod would receive about $ 17 million in damages and $ 69 million in penalties, down from $ 55 million and $ 2 billion, respectively.
The plaintiffs must still formally accept the reduced grant.
Bayer said in a statement Thursday that Smith's decision to bestow the award was a step in the right direction, but added that it would file an appeal.
"We continue to believe that the verdict and injury award are not supported by evidence during trial and conflict with the extensive body of reliable science and conclusions of leading health authorities worldwide confirming that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
Bayer is facing Roundup cancer cases by more than 13,400 plaintiffs across the US The German-based company acquired Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in a $ 63 billion deal last year, but has since seen the stock price overturn over glyphosate
Plaintiffs claim Roundup causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and that for decades Monsanto tried to influence scientists and regulators to bury cancer certificates. Bayer denies these claims.
The company had asked Smith to strike the criminal injury in Pilliods & Case, and claimed that hundreds of studies and reviews from supervisors all over The world concluded that the herbicide was safe for human use.
But the judge in her Thursday order rejected these arguments.
"In this case, there was clear and convincing evidence that Monsanto made an effort to prevent, discourage, or distort scientific investigation and the resulting science," Smith said.
Bayer has so far lost three US jury trials in the Roundup trial, with California juries awarded millions of dollars. It is appealing to the decisions.
In August, the company will face its first trial outside California at a courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. Monsanto has recruited Missouri-based expert witnesses to bring the case to a place where it has hundred-year-old roots, but where the juries often hit companies with major injuries.
Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing Lisa Shumaker