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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Bayer loses again as Supreme Court allows $87 million Roundup award

A bottle of Bayer Roundup brand weed killer concentrate is arranged for a photograph in a garden shed in Princeton, Ill., on March 28, 2019.  (Bloomberg )
By Greg Stohr Bloomberg

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand an $87 million award against Bayer, rejecting the company for the second time in a week as it tries to fend off tens of thousands of claims that its top-selling Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

The justices making no comment Monday left in place a jury’s finding in favor of Alva and Alberta Pilliod in a California case.

Bayer argued that a federal law precluded the suit and that the $70 million punitive damages award was so large it violated the Constitution.

The court last week rejected Bayer’s appeal in a case the company was trying to use to scuttle billions of dollars in potential claims.

The company’s liability could be the full $16 billion it has set aside to resolve the litigation, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Holly Froum.

The German chemicals giant inherited the legal mess in 2018 when it acquired Monsanto, the herbicide’s maker.

Bayer has won four of seven Roundup trials so far, with all its losses occurring in California courts.

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take another look at whether glyphosate – Roundup’s active ingredient – is a carcinogen.

Studies have linked it to some cancers.