A California jury has awarded more than US$2 billion (NZ$3 billion) to a couple who claimed Bayer Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, marking the third consecutive US jury verdict against the company in litigation over the chemical.
The jury in San Francisco Superior Court in Oakland said the company was liable for plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod's contracting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a spokeswoman for the couple said.
It awarded $US18 million in compensatory and $US1 billion in punitive damages to Alva Pilliod and $US37 million in compensatory and $US1 billion in punitive damages to his wife, Alberta Pilliod.
The jury found Roundup had been defectively designed, that the company failed to warn of the herbicide's cancer risk and that the company acted negligently.
Bayer, which bought Roundup-maker Monsanto last year for $US63 billion, faces more than 13,400 US lawsuits over the herbicide's alleged cancer risk.
Bayer denies the allegations, saying decades of studies by the company and independent scientists have shown glyphosate and Roundup to be safe for human use.
Bayer also points to several regulators around the world that found glyphosate not carcinogenic to humans.