Roundup which is Bayer AG’s popular glyphosate-based herbicide is up for a second jury hearing in a US court over it causing a cancer risk. The company’s share price dropped to $289 million after a verdict by a California state court.
A resident of California, Edwin Hardeman filed a lawsuit against Bayer, and it is scheduled for hearing in a federal court. The trial is also being considered as a test case for bigger litigation. The Hardeman case is a consolidated case of more than 760 cases out of 9,300 cases registered across the United States and will be heard by a Federal court.
The jurors, in this case, will not hear to all the evidence that was shown in the California trail last year initially as per the ruling by a US district judge Vince Chhabria. Chhabaria is also the presiding judge in the federal court. The Judge has decided to allow the evidence that was produced in the California case to go before the jury in the second phase of the trial only if it is determined that the Roundup caused cancer to Hardeman. The company has alleged that the evidence by the plaintiff is an attempt to persuade the regulators and also manipulate public opinion.
Hardeman claims in the court documents that he started using Roundup in the 1980s to control weeds and poison oak and used it regularly in large volumes for many years. In Feb 2015, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after which in 2016 he filed a lawsuit. Hardeman has a history of Hepatitis C which has a risk of developing lymphoma.
The California state court jury in August last year found evidence of corporate misconduct as playing a key role. The jury declared that Roundup had caused a man non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The Court also came to the verdict that the Monsanto Unit of Bayer did not warn consumers that the herbicide has a high risk of cancer. Though the jury awarded $289 million, the court later reduced it to $78 million.
Meanwhile, Bayer has denied that the product which is glyphosate-based caused cancer and said there had been independent studies conducted on it for many decades which has shown it to be safe for human use. It further added that the product is approved worldwide by regulators. Plaintiffs have condemned the order of Judge Chhabria of dividing the trail and not allowing evidence as unfair and that there is scientific evidence that glyphosate causes cancer and is linked to misconduct by Bayer.