The second Roundup cancer trial concluded Wednesday with a unanimous jury verdict that ordered Monsanto to pay roughly $80 million in damages for failing to warn plaintiff Edwin Hardeman of the cancer risks of Roundup herbicide.
The jury verdict included $200,967.10 in past economic loss, and a little more than $5 million in past and future non-economic loss damages. Jurors said Monsanto should pay $75 million in punitive damages for its negligence in failing to warn of the cancer risks of its herbicides despite years of published scientific data highlighting the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate-based herbicides.
Hardeman’s attorneys issued a statement slamming Monsanto for decades of what they said was irresponsible and dangerous conduct. During the month-long trial they presented jurors with not just scientific evidence showing cancer connections to Monsanto’s products, but also evidence of Monsanto strategies aimed at suppressing information about the dangers of its products, including secretly ghost-writing scientific papers that it then used to help convince regulators of product safety.
“As demonstrated throughout trial, since Roundup’s inception over 40 years ago, Monsanto refuses to act responsibly. It is clear from Monsanto’s actions that it does not care whether Roundup causes cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about Roundup. It speaks volumes that not one Monsanto employee, past or present, came live to trial to defend Roundup’s safety or Monsanto’s actions. 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.”
Bayer AG, which purchased Monsanto last summer, said it would appeal the verdict. “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.”