Posted: February 23, 2024

“The tide changed,” noted the Associated Press in an article about the recent large verdicts against Monsanto and parent company AG Bayer over the weed killer Roundup, found by juries in Philadelphia to have caused cancer in two men. Those verdicts -- $175 million in October and $2.25 billion this past January – were won by the team of Philadelphia-based Kline & Specter and the Houston firm of Arnold & Itkin and followed a series of verdicts across the nation in Monsanto’s favor. Since the World Health Organization declared Roundup’s key chemical ingredient, glyphosate, as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” many lawsuits are still making their way through the courts against Monsanto. In the Philadelphia trials, an 83-year-old Philadelphia man, Ernest Caranci, and a 49-year-old man from central Pennsylvania, John McKivison, were found to have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup for years. In a lengthy article, Tom Kline told the Associated Press that in order to keep Roundup on the market, Monsanto ignored known health risks associated with glyphosate and failed to warn users to wear gloves and protective clothing when using the herbicide. After winning their historic $2.25 billion verdict, Kline and Itkin told the news media in a joint statement: “The jury’s unanimous verdict was a condemnation of 50 years of misconduct by Monsanto and a declaration that its misconduct was in reckless disregard of human safety and a substantial cause of John McKivison’s cancer.” They added that the $2 billion punitive damages award that was part of the verdict “sends a clear message that this multi-national corporation needs top to bottom change.” The verdict made Kline and Itkin the first attorneys in America in the last 20 years to win two billion-dollar verdicts, also counting their $8 billion Risperdal verdict in 2019, for a single individual plaintiff. It also gave Kline & Specter six of the eight largest jury verdicts in Pennsylvania over the past five years, and Kline five of those eight largest jury verdicts in Pennsylvania