Jury rules Monsanto is liable mans cancer years using RoundupDan Kamashu
Jury rules Monsanto IS liable for man’s cancer after his years using Roundup: Firm ordered to pay $80 MILLION to 70-year-old who sprayed 6,000 gallons of weed killer on his 56-acre property
- Edwin Hardeman, 70, of Santa Rosa, California, has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system
- He says he sprayed around 6,000 gallons of Roundup in 26 years to fight his family’s ‘large poison oak problem’ on their 56-acre property
- The infection was getting into their hiking trails and water supply, lawyers said
- In the first phrase of the trial the jury found Roundup was a compounding factor that led to his cancer
- On Wednesday, the second phase ended: jurors said Monsanto is liable
- The company now owes $80 million in punitive damages
- Last year, a jury ruled Roundup was a factor in another man’s cancer and ruled that Monsanto ‘acted with malice’
Monsanto must pay a cancer patient $80 million after a jury found the firm is liable for his disease after his years using Roundup herbicide.
Edwin Hardeman, 70, of Santa Rosa, California, has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system after using the weed killer to kill poison oak and invasive plants on his 56-acre property over the course of 30 years.
Hardeman told jurors the spray routinely got on his skin before he was diagnosed with the disease in 2015.
On Wednesday, jurors unanimously found Monsanto failed to warn customers that its weedkiller could cause cancer.
The verdict is a huge blow to the company, as this case is being held up as a precedent for thousands of others in Northern California alone.
Edwin Hardeman (pictured), 70, of Santa Rosa, California , has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system after using the weed killer to kill poison oak and invasive plants on his 56-acre property over the course of 30 years
Hardeman has undergone six rounds of chemotherapy to fight his cancer.
According to his lawyers, he sprayed around 6,000 gallons of Roundup in 26 years to fight his family’s ‘large poison oak problem’ which was entering their water supply and hiking trails.
He was the first to file a federal complaint against Monsanto, bringing a lawsuit against the company in 2016, a year after being diagnosed with cancer.
His is also being steered as the leading case in a multidistrict litigation with more than 1,600 plaintiffs in Northern California.
Hardeman’s was designed as a multi-phase trial.
In the first phase, lawyers were barred from presenting anything that addressed liability. At one point, they earned a scolding from the judge for straying into details about the inner workings of Monsanto, the Guardian reported.
In the second phase of the trial, Hardeman’s lawyers presented evidence allegedly showing the company’s efforts to influence scientists, regulators and the public about the safety of its products.
It took the jury – five women and one man – a day to deliberate before deciding that Monsanto should owe $5 million in future and past noneconomic damages, and $75 million in punitive damages.
But the first to reach trial was DeWayne ‘Lee’ Johnson, a terminally ill man also battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, who took the pharmaceutical giant to court last year.
Former groundsman Johnson, who was given weeks to live, was awarded nearly $290 million in damages, before an appeal saw his sum sliced to $78.5 million – pending another appeal.
The first-of-its-kind verdict was delayed as jurors spent hours analyzing the timeline of Johnson’s symptoms, the validity of his expert witness’s testimony, and the discrepancies between Monsanto’s medical findings and that of their critics.
The jury also found Monsanto ‘acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct,’ Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos announced in court in San Francisco.
Bolanos dismissed Monsanto’s requests for a re-trial, but after an appeal the firm managed to whittle down Johnson’s award to less than half, citing law on how awards should be calculated. Johnson is appealing that decision.
This time around, judges agreed to more tightly control how evidence was presented and ruled on.
In Johnson’s trial, jurors were presented with all the information of Johnson’s case, his personal history, and accusations of Monsanto influencing and intimidating scientists.
The verdicts have dealt a huge blow to Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in November after Johnson’s trial.
The firm swiftly announced it would be cutting 12,000 jobs to ‘restructure’ as they faced the next big set of litigation from California attorneys.
Bayer said in a statement: ‘We are disappointed with the jury’s initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer. We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto’s conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr Hardeman’s cancer.
‘Regardless of the outcome, however, the decision in phase one of this trial has no impact on future cases and trials because each one has its own factual and legal circumstances.
‘We have great sympathy for Mr Hardeman and his family, but an extensive body of science supports the conclusion that Roundup was not the cause of his cancer. Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.’
According to Hardeman’s lawyers, he sprayed around 6,000 gallons of Roundup in 26 years to fight his family’s ‘large poison oak problem’ which was entering their water supply and hiking trails
Glyphosate is a controversial chemical that is currently under particular scrutiny in Europe
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