(March 20, 2019) On Tuesday, a California jury found Roundup pesticide was likely a substantial factor in causing a man’s cancer.
The unanimous verdict in favor of plaintiff Ed Hardeman, 70, was reached by five women and one man.
The two-part, first federal bellwether trial began on February 25. Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015. He used Roundup on his Santa Rosa property for more than 25 years to kill poison oak and weeds. It was estimated he used over 6,000 gallons of Roundup during this time in his life.
At age 66, he was diagnosed with NHL and has been undergoing cancer treatment since.
During the first phase of the trial, the jury was to decide if scientific evidence supported the conclusion that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can cause cancer. Moreover, the jury was to decide is it caused Hardeman’s NHL. The jury attributed it was more than 50 percent likely Roundup caused Hardeman’s cancer.
Hardeman’s attorneys brought in experts on the topic who presented “overwhelming evidence” such as animal studies, epidemiological and mechanistic data that indicate Roundup was responsible for causing Hardeman’s cancer.
Damages and claims will be left for the second phase of the trial which begins on March 20. Additionally during the next phase, the jury will decide whether Monsanto failed to warn Hardeman about the alleged cancer risks.
Last year, Monsanto was ordered to pay nearly $200 million on similar claims. Dewayne Johnson was diagnosed with NHL after using Monsanto’s Ranger Pro pesticide throughout his time as a school groundskeeper in the Bay Area. The court later dropped the verdict to $78 million.
Bayer AG recently acquired Monsanto Co. for $62 billion. Despite such an incredulous acquisition, neither agrochemical giant prevailed at this first federal bellwether trial.
There are hundreds of similar state and federal trials stacked against Monsanto before US District Judge Vince Chhabria. On March 28, Pilliod v. Monsanto will begin in a state court in Oakland. The second federal bellwether trial will begin in May.
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