UPDATE: Damages Awarded by Jury
A jury awarded $81 million in damages to a man who claimed that Roundup, a weedkiller sold by Bayer AG, caused his non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Reuters said Wednesday.
The six-person jury in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ordered Bayer to pay Edwin Hardeman $75 million in punitive damages and $5.9 million in compensatory damages, along with $200,000 in medical costs. Bayer bought Monsanto, which made and sold Roundup, for $66 billion last year, after which it retired the Monsanto brand.
The award comes one week after the same jury found, following a month-long trial, that Bayer’s Roundup played a substantial role in Hardeman’s cancer. The judge overseeing the case is also handling hundreds of other Roundup lawsuits. In total, Bayer is facing more than 11,200 lawsuits over the use of glyphosate in its products.
The verdict marks the second trial Bayer has lost over Roundup’s health risks. Last August, another jury awarded another plaintiff, a former school groundskeeper named Dewayne Johnson, $289 million in damages. Johnson also claimed that Roundup had a design defect that Monsanto didn’t adequately warn consumer about.
The Jury’s Decision
The judge in the most recent lawsuit against Monsanto (now owned by Bayer AgriChemicals…yes, the aspirin people) for their Round-Up weedkiller containing glyphosate said this is a bellwether case (trend setting) and it very likely will be…rather than settling, attorneys representing cancer victims previously exposed to Round-Up will likely continue to push forward for jury trials. This encouraging outcome occurred today despite the fact that a previous judge (Bolanos) in San Francisco this past summer slashed the jury’s award of $289 million dollars to another groundskeeper with cancer down to $79 million.
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Roundup weed killer was a substantial factor in a California man’s cancer, a jury determined Tuesday in the first phase of a trial that attorneys said could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits.
The unanimous verdict by the six-person jury in federal court in San Francisco came in a lawsuit filed against Roundup’s manufacturer, agribusiness giant Monsanto. Edwin Hardeman, 70, was the second plaintiff to go to trial out of thousands around the country who claim the weed killer causes cancer.
Monsanto says studies have established that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is safe.
A San Francisco jury in August awarded another man $289 million after determining Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A judge later slashed the award to $78 million, and Monsanto has appealed.
Hardeman’s trial is before a different judge and may be more significant. U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria is overseeing hundreds of Roundup lawsuits and has deemed Hardeman’s case and two others “bellwether trials.”
The outcome of such cases can help attorneys decide whether to keep fighting similar lawsuits or settle them. Legal experts said a jury verdict in favor of Hardeman and the other test plaintiffs would give their attorneys a strong bargaining position in any settlement talks for the remaining cases before Chhabria.
The judge had split Hardeman’s trial into two phases. Hardeman’s attorneys first had to convince jurors that using Roundup was a significant factor in his cancer before they could make arguments for damages.
The trial will now proceed to the second phase to determine whether the company is liable and if so, for how much…
The herbicide came under increasing scrutiny after the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization, classified it as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015…
A jury says that a common weed-killer chemical at the heart of an $80 million lawsuit contributed to a man’s cancer
and see how the experts see this case playing out here: