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Bayer welcomes judge's call for new trial in $2 billion glyphosate case

Bayer welcomes judge's call for new trial in $2 billion glyphosate case
FILE PHOTO: The so-called 'Chempark', the main plant and headquarters of German pharmaceutical and chemical maker Bayer AG is pictured along the river Rhine in Leverkusen, Germany, July 3, 2019. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen -
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THILO SCHMUELGEN(Reuters)
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s Bayer AG <BAYGn.DE> on Friday welcomed a conditional ruling by a U.S. judge calling for a retrial of the case of a couple awarded $2 billion (1.6 billion pounds) in damages by a jury who found that its glyphosate-based weedkiller caused their cancer.

Shares in Bayer were up 1.4% in early Frankfurt trade.

Judge Winifred Y. Smith, of California’s Alameda County Superior Court, ruled that the case of Alva and Alberta Pilliod should be retried, citing concerns around the scale of damages awarded.

“The court’s tentative order proposes changes in the damage awards, which would be a step in the right direction,” Bayer said in a statement. “Bayer will wait for a final order on the post-trial motions before commenting in further detail.”

Bayer attached a copy of the court ruling to its statement.

Bayer had asked Judge Smith in June to overrule the jury verdict that its Roundup weedkiller caused the couple’s non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), arguing the decision was not supported by the evidence.

The German drugmaker and chemicals company said in court filings at the time that the massive verdict was based on “inflammatory, fabricated and irrelevant evidence” from the couple’s lawyers.

(This story corrects to remove reference to misconduct, paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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