For a second time now, a jury has ruled that Roundup, the weed-killer made by Monsanto, which was just purchased by Bayer, has caused an individual's cancer.
This week's verdict hasn't assessed liability or damages yet, as those are part of phase 2 of the trial. In this phase, the jury only ruled that, according to evidence it heard, Roundup was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman, to develop non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.
Roundup on Trial
Edwin Hardeman, a 70-year-old Sonoma County resident, had used Roundup for nearly three decades before being diagnosed with cancer. And now that it's been proven Roundup caused it, the next step will be proving his damages.
In the previous Roundup case, the jury assessed damages of nearly $300 million, but those were reduced by the court to around $75 million (which is still on appeal). That case, like Hardeman's, basically alleged that long-term exposure to the chemical glyphosate caused the plaintiff's cancer. And these two cases are part of a group of three bellweather trials out of the nearly 800 Roundup cases that have been assigned to federal district court judge Vince Chhabria.
Bayer, despite being new owners, issued a statement vowing to continue to defend these cases and claims. The company steadfastly maintains that science has not proven a link between their product and cancer. It further explained that in the second phase of the trial, it is confident that it will show that the company's conduct was "appropriate."