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Roundup and cancer: Jury sentences Bayer to compensation of 80 million Dollar

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Tractor sprays weed killer on field
Spraying pesticides, symbol picture. © iStock/Leonid Eremeychuk

The Bayer subsidiary Monsanto has to pay USD 80.3 mn in damages, respectively 71.4 mn euros, to Edwin Hardeman, who is suffering from cancer. This was decided by the jury of a U.S. federal court in San Francisco. A week ago, the jury unanimously announced that Roundup had been the main cause of Edwin Hardemann's lymph gland cancer. In the second round of the trial, they determined that Monsanto is also liable for that.

The sum of 80.3 mn dollars determined by the jury is made up of 5.3 mn dollars in regular damages and 75 mn dollars in so-called punitive damages, which are also part of US law. These damages were imposed by the jury because Monsanto had failed for decades to warn of Roundup's cancer risks, despite scientific literature pointing to it, explained the organization US Right to Know.

Lawsuits are likely to increase

Bayer was disappointed by the ruling and stated that it had no influence on future cases - each case had to be considered separately on the basis of the respective circumstances. But that is not true. The case now decided by a federal district court in San Francisco is a “bellwether case”. In US law, this is the name given to landmark cases in mass lawsuits.

11,200 Roundup lawsuits were filed against Bayer at the end of January, and the number is likely to increase rapidly after this ruling. Judge Vince Chhabria, who led the trial in San Francisco, alone has 760 more cases on his desk. It is noteworthy that the damages in the Hardemann case are similarly as high as the $78 million that a California court imposed on Monsanto in the Johnson case last fall.

Next case in California

Today, the next jury will meet at the local state district court in Alameda, California. It must decide whether Monsanto's Roundup is also responsible for the cancer diseases of the retired couple Alva and Alberta Pilliod. Their case stands as a substitute for over 250 other lawsuits pending in Alameda. The plaintiffs' attorneys expect the trial to take approximately one month.



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