SAN FRANCISCO – A federal court jury on Wednesday awarded more than $ 80 million in compensation to a Sonoma County man who blamed Roundup reed killer for his cancer, in a potential milestone case his lawyers say could help determine fate. hundreds of similar lawsuits.
Edwin Hardeman showed that Roundup's design was defective, lacked sufficient cancer alerts, and the manufacturer, agroindustrial Monsanto, was negligent, found the six-person jury in San Francisco.
It awarded Hardeman over $ 5 million in damages and an additional $ 75 million in immediate damage. Hardeman, 70, put his arm around his wife, Mary, when the verdict was read and crushed his lawyers.
Monsanto said studies have determined that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used turf, is safe. The company said it would appeal.
"We are disappointed with the jury's decision, but this judgment 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," according to a statement by Bayer, who bought Monsanto last year.
Hardeman said he used Roundup products to treat poison oak, overgrowth and weeds on his North Bay estate for years. The same jury discovered earlier that Roundup was an important factor in Hardeman's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Today, the jury sent a message out loud and clear that companies should no longer place products on the market for anyone to buy without being truthful, without testing their product and without warning if it causes cancer," Jennifer Moore said. by Hardemand's lawyers.
Hardeman and his wife thanked lawyers and jurors, but refused further comments.
Hardeman has been living since Sonoma County since 1
Much of the Roundup use in the case in the trial occurred on his property in Forestville. He told the jury during the trial that he regularly used the herbicide on his 56 acre estate there, and often got it on the skin.
He used Roundup to kill weeds as a scotch diet and poison oak that grew in the countryside, he said, after developing a poison oak rash from the clearing brush.
"Sometimes you can … be spraying it and an afternoon wind would come up. You get wind there. And you get some blowback, and it will blow up on you," Hardeman testified during the experiment.
Before living on the property Forestville, he lived in Gualala, in Mendocino County, where he also used Roundup, he said.
Another jury in August gave another man $ 289 million, but a judge slashed it later to $ 78 million. Monsanto has appealed that case.
Hardeman's trial can be more significant than that case. American judge Vince Chhabria oversees hundreds of Roundup lawsuits and has considered the Hardeman case and two other "bellwether trials."
The outcome of such cases can help lawyers decide whether to continue to fight or settle for similar cases. Legal experts said Judge in favor of Hardeman, and the other test agents would give their attorneys a strong negotiating position in any deal negotiations on the remaining cases before Chhabria.
Bayer says that all government supervisors who have looked at the issue have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate.
Monsanto developed glyphosate in the 1970s, and the mining murder is now being sold in more than 160 countries and widely used in the United States
The herbicide came under scrutiny by the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classified it as a "likely human carcinogen" in 2015.
Litigation against Monsanto followed, and thousands are now waiting nationwide.
Monsanto has attacked the international research agency's opinion as an outlier. The US Environmental Agency says glyphosate is safe for people when used according to the labeling direction.
Press Democratic Staff critic Andrew Beale contributed to this story.