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Man Who Blames Roundup for His Cancer Awarded $80M

Edwin Hardeman has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2019 4:00 AM CDT
French activists of Attac stage a demonstration in front of the Paris headquarters of Bayer AG to protest its production of environment-damaging pesticides, Thursday, March 14, 2019. G   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – Bayer inherited thousands of lawsuits when it bought Monsanto—and after the latest lawsuit involving the latter company's Roundup weed killer, the German pharma giant may be experiencing buyer's remorse. A jury in San Francisco federal court Wednesday ordered Bayer to pay $80 million to a man who said he sprayed the product to deal with poison oak and weeds on his property for decades and it gave him cancer, reports the AP. The jury awarded $5 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages to Edwin Hardeman, who has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, reports Reuters. A California groundskeeper was awarded $289 millionreduced to $78 million on appeal—in a similar case last year, and the company has an estimated 11,200 US lawsuits pending.

Bayer says studies have shown Roundup is safe and it plans to appeal, CNBC reports. "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 company said in a statement. Jurors, however, determined that the product was defectively designed and the company failed to warn consumers of the risk. The company's shares sank after the verdict; Bayer has now lost more than 18% of its value since the first phase of the trial ended with a ruling in favor of the plaintiff last week, Fortune reports. (Bayer retired the Monsanto name after it bought the company for $66 billion.)

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