A federal jury ruled that Roundup, Monsanto's popular weedkiller, was "a substantial factor" responsible for causing a California man's cancer. The ruling comes as a significant loss for the company, which is facing backlash from thousands of similar claims across its different products.
The six-member jury reached the verdict unanimously in the United States District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday—months after Edwin Hardeman, the groundskeeper who claimed that Roundup caused his cancer, received approximately $80 million from a separate case in California.
Hardeman had used the Monsanto product to kill weeds and poison oak for 26 years. In 2015, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This week’s verdict marked the end of the first half in the federal case about the "possible health risks of Roundup and whether Monsanto misled the man, Edwin Hardeman, about those risks," according to The New York Times.
The second half of the case begins today and focuses on whether Monsanto (acquired by Bayer AG in June of 2018) was responsible for contributing to Hardeman's cancer. Hardeman's lawyer, Jennifer Moore, argues that the company downplayed Roundup's health risks by manipulating science and public opinion. Hardeman's team will claim that Monsanto had knowledge that its product had properties that cause cancer.
“We feel confident based on the evidence that a jury, when presented with all of the evidence, will see that Monsanto has committed 40 years of corporate malfeasance,” Moore said.