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Bayer on the Edge as Jury Awards $265 M to US Peach Farmer Over Illegal Dicamba Drift

A jury on Saturday awarded US$ 250 million in punitive damages to a southeastern Missouri peach farmer who argued that weedkiller dicamba that had drifted onto his orchards from other farms had severely damaged his trees — an award that could bode well for over 140 other farmers suing the chemical’s makers – Bayer (Monsanto) and BASF.

The punitive damages awarded to farmer Bill Bader, of Campbell, came a day after the jury awarded him $15 million in actual damages, agreeing with his argument that dicamba had drifted over from other farms and severely damaged Bader Farms, which is one of the largest peach farms in Missouri. Bader’s attorneys argued that his trees likely wouldn’t survive the dicamba exposure, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The jury verdict is the latest litigation nightmare for Bayer, which is also seeking to settle tens of thousands of lawsuits claiming exposure to its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.