Roundup Weedkiller Trial Phase 2

Roundup products for sale at a Home Depot store in San Rafael California

Roundup products for sale at a Home Depot store in San Rafael California

A federal jury has awarded $80 million to a California man after determining that Monsanto's popular weedkiller, Roundup, was a substantial factor in causing his cancer, and that the corporation is liable.

Monsanto will pay the Sonoma County resident $75 million in punitive damages and an additional $5.2 million in compensatory damages. The plaintiffs in the other cases have also allegedly gotten non-Hodgkin Lymphoma from using Monsanto weed killing product. As with the thousands of other consumers suing Bayer, Hardeman argued his years of exposure to the chemical caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

One of Hardeman's lawyers, Aimee Wagstaff, told CNN, "We are excited that after three long years of litigation, Mr. Hardeman finally has a resolution, and that the jury has held Monsanto accountable for its bad conduct of manipulation and deception".

In its statement, Monsanto's parent company Bayer said it was a disappointment in the jury's ruling.

The stock was, however, spared the type of plunge it suffered last week when it fell 9.6 percent on the jury's conclusion-part-way into the Hardeman trial-that there was a causal link between the weedkiller and the plaintiff's disease.

Tom Claps, a legal analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, said Wednesday's verdict "doesn't bode well for the remaining cases" in both state and federal court, since Monsanto thought the two-phased trial would be a more favourable setting.

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Bayer vowed to keep defending its weedkiller Roundup after losing a second USA trial over claims it causes cancer, indicating that the embattled company isn't yet ready to consider spending billions of dollars to settle thousands of similar lawsuits.

"The verdict in this trial has no impact on future cases and trials, as each one has its own factual and legal circumstances", German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last summer, said in a statement. Bayer has also filed an appeal in that case.

The wave of lawsuits against Bayer came after a jury had awarded to the cancer patients Dewayne Johnson in another procedure in August, a total of 289 million dollars in Pain and suffering, and compensation. If Bayer continues to lose at trial, it "has to put the possibility of a settlement of these cases into the mix". Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide on the planet, and WHO's study, as published on The Lancet, found that glyphosate is carcinogenic in humans and animals.

Some analysts have put the price of settling lawsuits over Roundup filed by more than 11,200 people in the United States at more than $US5b.

Bayer says all government regulators that have looked at the issue have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate. Jennifer Moore, one of Hardeman's lawyers, criticised Monsanto after the verdict. Shortly after, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that glyphosate is a possible carcinogen, which means it promotes the formation of cancer.

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