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Jury awards California man $80 million in damages in Roundup case

Some of us in the office love to garden. Some of us have used Roundup in the past, but won't any more in light of recent scientific evidence and jury verdicts finding a link between Roundup's active ingredient and certain cancers. See below:

Jury rules Bayer must pay California man more than $80 million in damages in Roundup case.

The AP (3/27) reports that on Wednesday, a jury "awarded more than $80 million in damages to a California man who blamed Roundup weed killer for his cancer, in a case that his attorneys say could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits." The jury awarded Edwin Hardeman "more than $5 million in compensation and an additional $75 million in punitive damages." Bloomberg (3/28, Rosenblatt, Burnson, 4.73M) reports Hardeman asserted during the case that "his years of exposure to the chemical caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma." In a statement, Bayer spokesman Chris Loder said, "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." AFP(3/28) reports Bayer "said it would appeal the verdict even though it sympathized with Hardeman's plight."

Reuters (3/27, Sage, Bellon) reports the "trial is only the second of more than 11,200 Roundup lawsuits set to go to trial in the United States." Other "litigation setbacks and a prior jury verdict against the company have sent Bayer shares plunging." UPI (3/27, Haynes) reports there "are 760 cases against Monsanto before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who heard the Hardeman case."

NPR (3/27, Gonzales, 3.46M) reports that in a statement, the law firm that represented Hardeman said, "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. ... 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." BuzzFeed News (3/27, Baer) reports Hardeman's attorney Jennifer Moore added, "When you look at the internal documents from Monsanto it's also clear that they knew that as well and they chose not to tell the American public and they chose not to tell the world that their product was dangerous. ... Today the jury held unanimously that that was wrong, it was deceitful, and it was malicious."

Sputnik News (3/27, 80K) reports that several "national and international agencies have identified Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate, as a probable cause of cancer in humans, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is an arm of the World Health Organization, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment." USA Today (3/27, Tyko, 13.11M) reports Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook stated that "the testimony that informed the jury's decision was Bayer-Monsanto hiding Roundup's carcinogenic properties, manipulating the science and cozying-up with EPA so it would not have to warn consumers of its dangerous product."

Fortune (3/27, Kelleher, 3.84M) reports Bayer's stock "has lost 18.4% of its value since the San Francisco jury issued its first verdict a week ago." TheStreet (3/27, Bemis, 512K) reports the company "is expected to report earnings of 65 cents a share on sales of $14.4 billion on Apr. 25, based on a FactSet survey of 5 analysts."

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