Both sides consider appeal after judge reduces $80 million award against Monsanto

US Federal Judge Slashes Roundup Jury Award to $25.3 Million Bayer Still to Appeal

US Federal Judge Slashes Roundup Jury Award to $25.3 Million Bayer Still to Appeal

Bayer won a ruling Monday that slashes a jury verdict to $25.3 million from $80.3 million in the second case to go to trial over claims that exposure to Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco previously said the $75-million portion of the verdict meant to punish the company was too high based on legal precedent that punitive damages shouldn't be more than nine times bigger than compensatory damages.

The judge endorsed the approximately $5 million in compensatory damages that Monsanto was ordered to pay the plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman. The companies have long maintained that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is safe.

"Judge Chhabria rejected every one of Monsanto's arguments to throw out the verdict and only reduced the punitive damage award based on his interpretation of the Constitution".

Judge Chhabria did offer some supportive words for Monsanto's position, writing that there was no evidence that Monsanto actually hid evidence from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or "had managed to capture the EPA".

"Monsanto's conduct, whereas reprehensible, doesn't warrant a ratio of that magnitude, significantly within the absence of proof exhibiting intentional concealment of a recognized or apparent security danger", Chhabria wrote.

Bayer, which bought Monsanto a year ago for $63 billion, called Chhabria's decision "a step in the right direction", adding that it still plans to appeal. "Bayer plans to file an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit".

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Hardeman might appeal Chhabria's decision to reduce the damages award, which one in all his lawyers, Michael Baum, in a statement referred to as a "reversible error".

The agro-chemicals and drugs giant Bayer finalized the acquisition of the United States company Monsanto previous year for $63 billion.

"The jury's verdict should stand".

"For decades Monsanto has lied about the safety of Roundup and undermined any effort to inform the public that Roundup causes cancer", Moore said.

But the deal has turned out to be plagued with other massive costs.

Bayer disagreed with Chhabria's ruling Friday denying the company a new trial.

In March, the company lost a case to Hardeman, an American retiree who blames his cancer on the weedkiller. Still, the liability verdict and damage awards are not supported by the reliable evidence presented at trial, and conflict with both the weight of the extensive science that supports the safety of Roundup, and the conclusions of leading health regulators in the USA and around the world that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.

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