Bay Area man awarded $80 million after a jury said Roundup caused his cancer

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ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Bay Area man awarded $80 million after a jury said Roundup caused his cancer
A San Francisco jury awarded a local man $80 million after they found agrochemical giant Monsanto liable for causing his cancer after he used one of their weed killers.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Wednesday, a San Francisco jury delivered a multi-million dollar verdict against the maker of the weed killer Roundup for causing a Bay Area man's cancer. This is the second ruling against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, in less than a year.

Both cases have happened in the Bay Area and they could have international implications.

"I'm overwhelmed with the verdict, it hasn't sunk in yet," said Ed Hardeman, who is not wrong to be overwhelmed. A federal court jury awarded him $80 million in damages, finding Bayer-Monsanto's weed killer, Roundup, responsible for causing his cancer.

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"I just really want to thank the jury for their dedication and staying with such a very complicated trial," said Hardeman, to a room full of cameras at the San Francisco Federal Building.

Holding onto his wife's hand, Hardeman listened as his attorneys described how his ordeal with Roundup began.

"Like many people, he went into the local hardware store, bought a bottle of Roundup concentrate, mixed it himself, and used it for over 26 years," explained attorney, Jennifer Moore. "The evidence at trial showed that that repeated exposure, for that length of time, resulted in him developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."

Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014 and underwent chemotherapy treatments. He is currently in remission, but does go through routine cancer screening tests.

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The jury found Monsanto had concealed the dangers of the world's most popular herbicide. "We want the public to know that Roundup, as the jury found, caused Mr. Hardeman's cancer and it is a dangerous product," said Moore.

Bayer released a statement which says in part, "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.... Bayer will appeal this verdict."

Dewayne Johnson was the first cancer patient to take Monsanto to court. Johnson is a former school groundskeeper from Vallejo, who used Roundup at work and has terminal cancer. He was originally awarded $289 million in State court. But in November, after months of legal battles, Johnson, agreed to a reduced award of $78 million.

On Thursday, the third Roundup trial is being heard in State court in Oakland. A couple, who both have Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, also blame their cancer on the weed killer.