Martel Kelly J. v. Monsanto et Nouryon Chemicals

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August 17, 2023
Final judgment
United States, Philadelphia

Kelly J. Martel
Monsanto, Company, Other
Rosemary Pinto (Feldman & Pinto)

Civil court
Glyphosate, Roundup, Herbicide
Compensation for developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using glyphosate-based products
Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, United States
First instance

December 5, 2023
The two defendant companies were ordered to pay $3.5 million in compensation for the development of the plaintiff's pathology.
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On December 5, 2023, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas ordered Monsanto-Bayer and Nouryon to pay Kelly Martel nearly $3.5 million for developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) after using glyphosate-based products. This sum includes $462,000 in compensatory damages against Monsanto and Nouryon, and $3 million in punitive damages against Monsanto alone.

On August 17, 2023, Kelly Martel, a citizen of Philadelphia, filed a lawsuit in Orange County Court against Monsanto and Nouryon Chemicals. Her complaint was then transferred to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The 16-day trial began on November 6, 2023.

Monsanto is accused of selling Roundup, a defective product that is dangerous to health, with knowledge of glyphosate's carcinogenic properties. Nouryon Chemicals is accused of having contributed to the product's toxicity by manufacturing co-formulants that made it even more dangerous.

German company Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, has defended itself by refuting the causal link between the applicant's exposure to Roundup and the development of her NHL. For Bayer, NHLs are mostly caused by genetic factors (mutations) and not environmental factors. The defendant company also relied on the fact that the applicant was a smoker to deny any causal link. The two plaintiff companies asked the jury to return a directed verdict, i.e. a ruling that there was no legally sufficient evidential basis for a reasonable jury to reach a different conclusion.

Finally, the jury found that Monsanto was 92.5% responsible for Martel's injuries, and that Nouryon was only 7.5% responsible.

This is the second case concerning the link between Roundup exposure and the development of NHL to be decided by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. On October 27, 2023, the Court ruled in favor of Ernie Carancie, an 83-year-old restaurateur who developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after several years' use of Roundup, and ordered Monsanto to pay $175 million.