A federal jury in San Francisco has awarded more than $ 80 million to a 70-year-old California man after determining last week that his exposure to Monsanto's widely-used weed killer Roundup was a significant factor in the development of his cancer.
The verdict announced Wednesday concludes the second and final phase of the trial in Edwin Hardeman's case against Monsanto, the manufacturer of the widely used herbicide
Jurors ruled again in favor of Hardeman, saying that Monsanto, which was bought last year by Bayer AG for $ 63 billion, caused the Sonoma County man harm by failing to adequately warn of the potential dangers of using the glyphosate-based weed killer.
Hardeman was awarded $ 75 million in punitive damages and about $ 5.8 million in compensatory
"As demonstrated throughout the trial, since Roundup's inception over 40 years ago, Monsanto refuses to act responsibly," Hardeman's attorneys Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore sai d in a joint statement. "Today, the jury resoundingly held Monsanto for its 40 years of corporate malfeasance and sent a message to Monsanto that it needed to change the way it does business."
Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in February 201
The lawsuit alleged that Hardeman's long-term exposure to Roundup caused his cancer and that Monsanto knew or should have known of the risks and
Hardeman's lawsuit is the leading case of a multidistrict litigation involving more than 1,600 plaintiffs in the US District Court for the Northern District of California and the second case alleging Monsanto's glyphosate
In August 2018, a jury in California state court awarded a man with terminal cancer wh About $ 290 million in damages. The verdict was later reduced to $ 78.5 million and is on appeal.
Bayer said Wednesday he would also appeal to the verdict in Hardeman's case. The German pharmaceutical company has continued to argue that the herbicide is safe
"We are disappointed with the jury's decision, but this verdict does not change the weight of over four decades of extensive science and the conclusions of regulators worldwide that support the safety of our glyphosate-based herbicides and that they are not carcinogenic, "Bayer said in a statement. "We have great sympathy for Mr. Hardeman and his family, and Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them."
Together, the two verdicts at the state and federal levels set a powerful precedent for thousands of other cases pending before the courts. As of January, Monsanto has been facing lawsuits from more than 11,000 plaintiffs claiming exposure to glyphosate-based products caused by harm, according to Bayer
In 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as but carcinogenic to humans, but the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that the herbicide is unlikely to be carcinogenic to humans
Glyphosate-based products are not banned in the US, however, a number of cities and in 2017 California issued a warning for the chemical, adding it to a list of substances known to cause cancer
This is a developing story . BuzzFeed News on Twitter