(March 21, 2019) An attorney representing Ed Hardeman in the first federal bellwether Roundup lawsuit said Monsanto should pay for failing to warn about its cancer risks.
The contentious opening statements from the second phase of the trial have backed Monsanto in a corner, and the $62 billion company, now owned by Bayer AG, is having a hard time fighting back.
At the end of the first phase of the trial this week, the jury overwhelmingly found Roundup was a significant factor in causing Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The six-member jury was asked to punish Monsanto for not conducting long-term studies over the years and failing to warn customers about its risks. Monsanto never conducted its own epidemiological studies of Roundup and its effect on the public. Furthermore, any animal studies that were conducted were inadequate or too short.
In another revelation, it was suggested that Monsanto’s long-time toxicologist Donna Farmer tried to keep a particular Roundup study out of public view. She edited the abstract of the study to limit searches for it. The study concluded by saying cancer risks double from high levels of glyphosate exposure.
Additionally, Farmer was quoted in a 2003 documentary for saying the company could not say Roundup was not carcinogenic because it hadn’t done adequate studies.
This California Roundup lawsuit has been closely watched as it follows on the heels of a verdict last summer that held Monsanto accountable for causing a non-Hodgin’s lymphoma diagnosis in a school groundskeeper. He was the first of hundreds who have filed lawsuits against Monsanto. The company was ordered to pay close to $80 million in damages.
According to the plaintiffs side, Monsanto has $2.4 billion of cash on hand which is a suggestion to the jury the company can accommodate Hardeman’s injuries. Since his NHL diagnosis in 2015, he has racked up nearly $200,000 in medical bills.
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