Weed killer was substantial factor in plaintiff’s cancer — jury

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A jury in federal court in San Francisco has concluded that Roundup weed killer was a substantial factor in a California man’s cancer, reports CBS News. The unanimous verdict came in a trial that plaintiffs’ attorneys said could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits against Roundup’s manufacturer, agribusiness giant Monsanto.

The report says it was the second jury verdict to find that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Another jury reached that conclusion last year awarded the plaintiff, DeWayne Johnson, $289m. Jurors in California Superior Court agreed the product contributed to Johnson’s cancer and the company should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard. The report says Johnson’s attorneys sought and won $39m in compensatory damages and $250m of the $373m they wanted in punitive damages.

The report says the verdict came in the case of 70-year Edwin Hardeman. The judge overseeing Hardeman’s lawsuit had split the trial into two phases. Hardeman’s attorneys first had to convince jurors that his use of Roundup was a significant factor in his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The trial will now proceed to the damages phase.

Hardeman claimed that his decades-long use of the weed killer on his 56-acre Sonoma County property is linked to his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015.

Monsanto is quoted in the report as saying that studies have established that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is safe.

CBS News report

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