One small-town law office in Orange, Virginia, is now responsible for defeating pharmaceutical behemoth Bayer in court -- not once but twice -- winning a total more than $2 billion in damages for its cancer victims after juries found the company's Roundup weedkiller responsible for their illness.
Michael Miller, lead attorney for The Miller Firm LLC, represented married couple Alva and Alberta Pilliod, who on Monday were awarded a combined $2 billion in damages after they contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from using the weedkiller for several years.
The jury found that the company did not properly warn the Pilliods about the cancer risk surrounding the weedkiller's controversial ingredient glyphosate. The active ingredient has been under scrutiny for years.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization, identified the ingredient as a “probable carcinogen.” Bayer and Monsanto, the maker of the product which was acquired by the pharma giant last June, have both adamantly denied those claims.
In a statement to FOX Business, Bayer said it was disappointed with the jury’s decision and plans to appeal the verdict in the case as it directly conflicts with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s review of the product, which was released last month.
The Pilliod's win follows the first landmark case win for the firm last August against Bayer, which was ordered to pay a California groundskeeper $289 million for failing to warn him about the cancer risks. His award was later reduced to $78.5 million.
Miller, who would not disclose how much his firm made from both verdicts, did say that his company does not charge Roundup victims a penny unless they win.
"Then we receive a contingency fee," Miller told FOX Business, who is currently representing 3,000 Roundup cancer victims around the country.
While a contingency fee does vary depending on the firm and the attorney's experience level, most personal injury lawyers take around 33 to 40 percent of the settlement.
However, both cases are still being appealed.
Miller said he got involved in Roundup litigation in 2014 when he read the science surrounding the weedkiller but has been doing cancer litigation for more than 20 years.