Jury Holds Monsanto Accountable, Awards California Man $80 Million in Roundup Injury Lawsuit
A few short weeks ago, a California jury determined that glyphosate was a “substantial factor” in Edward Hardeman’s 2015 cancer diagnosis. Yesterday, the same jury decided that Monsanto was liable for the California man’s injuries. The panel ordered the conglomerate to pay Hardeman $80 million in damages.
Hardeman Exposed to Glyphosate For More Than Two Decades
Hardeman reportedly sprayed Roundup weed killer on his 56-acre California farm for more than 26 years. During this time, he was regularly doused in the pesticide and exposed to high levels of its active ingredient, glyphosate. In 2015, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Scientific studies have suggested that there is a link between glyphosate exposure and this type of cancer. At trial, the San Francisco jury was presented with evidence both supporting and contesting this belief. In the trial’s first phase, the panel was swayed by evidence offered by Hardeman’s attorney. The panel unanimously found that exposure to glyphosate played a huge role in the plaintiff’s cancer diagnosis.
Jury Finds Monsanto Liable for Cancer Diagnosis
In the trial’s second phase, the focus shifted away from glyphosate and onto Monsanto’s role in Hardeman’s diagnosis. Additional evidence – this time focusing on Monsanto’s alleged fraudulent and deceitful behavior – was introduced.
The panel was tasked with answering the following questions:
- Did Monsanto know that glyphosate could cause cancer?
- Did Monsanto fail to warn consumers about potential health risks associated with exposure to Roundup?
- Did Monsanto intentionally create a campaign of misinformation to the detriment of its consumers?
After considering the evidence before it, the 6-member panel unanimously agreed that Monsanto was, in fact, liable for Hardeman’s cancer diagnosis. It awarded the 70-year-old man $80 million in compensatory and punitive damages. This marks the second multi-million dollar verdict issued against Monsanto in less than 8 months. Monsanto, now Bayer, has vowed to appeal the jury’s decision.
Thousands of Roundup Lawsuits Still Pending
Hardeman’s case was the first of hundreds pending in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in San Francisco to go to trial. Thousands of other Roundup lawsuits are also pending in various state and federal courts across the nation. To date, Bayer has been named as a defendant in more than 11,200 Roundup injury cases.
Despite the two verdicts so far, Bayer maintains its position that glyphosate is perfectly safe. However, juries appear to have a very different take on the evidence. The fact that internal documents reveal that Monsanto intentionally misled the public and interfered with scientific studies has probably also played a significant role in juror deliberations. If Bayer continues to lose in court, it may be inclined to settle outstanding lawsuits. As a result, victims could potentially recover compensation, even if the company refuses to admit any wrongdoing.