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California Jury Finds Bayer Liable for $80 Million in Second Glyphosate Trial

Jury awards the plaintiff Edwin Hardeman $5 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages.

A California jury has awarded $80 million to the plaintiff in the case of Hardeman v. Monsanto, a trial conducted in the federal glyphosate multidistrict litigation before Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California.

Edwin Hardeman claims Bayer’s glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury awarded him $5 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages. Last week, the jury ruled use of glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Hardeman.

Bayer is now 0 for 2 in glyphosate trials. Last August, San Francisco Superior Court jurors ruled in favor of Dewayne Johnson, a 42-year-old school groundskeeper suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In the verdict, jurors found Monsanto liable for $289 million. That award was later reduced to $78 million and is on appeal. 

Thus far, around 11,200 lawsuits have been filed against Bayer regarding glyphosate-based Roundup. Since the first glyphosate verdict was announced last August 10, Bayer AG shares have decreased from $26.59 per share to the March 27 close of $15.82. 

Bayer released the following statement in reaction to the jury’s decision.

We are disappointed with the jury’s decision, but this verdict 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. The verdict in this trial has no impact on future cases and trials, as each one has its own factual and legal circumstances. Bayer will appeal this verdict. 

The jury in this case deliberated for more than four days before reaching a causation verdict in phase one, an indication that it was very likely divided over the scientific evidence. The legal rulings under which the court admitted expert scientific testimony from the plaintiff that it called “shaky” is one of several significant issues that the Company may raise on appeal. Monsanto moved to exclude this same evidence before trial.

We have great sympathy for Mr. Hardeman and his family. Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.

Roundup products and their active ingredient, glyphosate, have been used safely and successfully for over four decades worldwide and are a valuable tool to help farmers deliver crops to markets and practice sustainable farming by reducing soil tillage, soil erosion and carbon emissions. Regulatory authorities around the world consider glyphosate-based herbicides as safe when used as directed. There is an extensive body of research on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, including more than 800 rigorous studies submitted to EPA, European and other regulators in connection with the registration process, that confirms that these products are safe when used as directed. Notably, the largest and most recent epidemiologic study – the 2018 independent National Cancer Institute-supported long-term study that followed over 50,000 pesticide applicators for more than 20 years and was published after the IARC monograph – found no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and cancer. Additionally, EPA’s 2017 post-IARC cancer risk assessment examined more than 100 studies the agency considered relevant and concluded that glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” its most favorable rating. As Health Canada noted in a very recent statement, “no pesticide regulatory authority in the world currently considers glyphosate to be a cancer risk to humans at the levels at which humans are currently exposed.”

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