For the second time in eight months, a jury has found that Monsanto’s weed killer, Roundup, has caused a man’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The plaintiff, Edward Hardeman, was awarded $80 million in damages. The jury found that not only did Roundup cause his cancer, but Monsanto knew about the carcinogenic risks and still failed to warn the public. The verdict announced concludes the two-part trial which alleged Roundup caused the plaintiff to develop non-Hodgkins lymphoma, an adverse effect of long-term exposure to Roundup that Monsanto was apparently aware of, despite safety warnings or transparency with their consumers. For more than three decades, Hardeman maintained his 56-acre property in Santa Rosa with Roundup weed killer. Hardeman’s bellwether trial was the first of hundreds of similar cases currently pending in California’s Northern District. During the first phase of the trial, the jury found that Roundup weed killer was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s cancer. In the second phase of the trial, after hearing prosecutorial claims that Monsanto deliberately withheld or ignored warnings linking Roundup to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the jury found Monsanto liable for damages incurred by Hardeman. Hardeman was awarded $201,000 in economic damages, approximately $5 million in future and past non-economic damages, and $75 million in punitive damages.
“As demonstrated throughout the trial, since Roundup’s inception over 40 years ago, Monsanto refuses to act responsibly,” Hardeman’s attorneys Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore said in a joint statement. “Today, the jury resoundingly held Monsanto accountable for its 40 years of corporate malfeasance and sent a message to Monsanto that it needs to change the way it does business.” The next case to go to trial is scheduled for March 28 in the Oakland, CA state court. A second bellwether in the federal multi-district litigation (MDL) is scheduled to begin in mid-May.