Jury Awards Over $80 Million in Roundup Case

Wall Street Journal writers Ruth Bender and Sara Randazzo reported yesterday that, “A jury Wednesday awarded $80.3 million in damages to a California resident the jurors found contracted cancer from exposure to Bayer AG’s Roundup weedkillers.

“The San Francisco jury’s finding that Monsanto Co.—now owned by German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer—acted negligently in failing to adequately warn about Roundup’s danger is the latest setback in Bayer’s efforts to clear its products of allegations that they trigger non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers.

“Analysts had widely expected the jury to hold Bayer liable for Edwin Hardeman’s cancer in this two-phase federal court trial after the six-person jury in the first phase already reached the conclusion that Roundup was largely to blame for his illness.”

The Journal article noted that, “While the first phase focused on scientific evidence to determine whether a link exists between Roundup and Mr. Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the jury in the second phase was to determine Monsanto’s liability.”

Bender and Randazzo explained that, “Of the total damages awarded by the jury, $75 million were punitive. That is less dramatic than the amount Bayer faced in the first Roundup case to go to trial. In a state-court trial also in San Francisco, a jury in August awarded $289.2 million to former groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who also blamed regular Roundup use for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A judge later reduced the award to $78.5 million, which Bayer is appealing.

“Bayer has pledged to defend itself resolutely as it now faces lawsuits from 11,200 farmers, gardeners and other Roundup users. The company says Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate are safe and argues that over 800 scientific studies and decisions by regulators around the world confirm that view.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.