Late March of this year saw the end of Roundup cancer victim Edward Hardeman’s several-year pursuit of justice. Hardeman had used the product over nearly three decades to control weeds and poison oak on his property when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015. When he learned that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer had declared the product’s active ingredient, glyphosate, a probable carcinogen, he filed a lawsuit against its maker Monsanto and is only the second among thousands of plaintiffs to have his case heard by a jury. He was awarded more than $80 million in damages.
In filing his Roundup cancer lawsuit, Mr. Hardeman asserted that the company’s failure to provide a warning of the dangers of the product represented negligence, and the six-member jury agreed, indicating that the chemical was a “substantial factor” in his illness. While compensation for Hardeman’s medical bills added up to just over $200,000, the jury awarded him roughly $5 million for his past and future suffering and assessed a remarkable $75 million in punitive damages meant to punish the company for their failure to act to prevent harm.
Earlier Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Resulted in $289 Million Jury Verdict
Though the company’s current owner, Bayer, indicated that they plan to appeal the jury’s verdict, this is the second case in which the jury has agreed to a Roundup cancer link. Part of the evidence presented at trial included experts testifying to mutations in human cells that were exposed to the product’s main chemical, and statistics showing higher levels of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in human populations exposed to Roundup. In the case that was heard earlier, a California jury awarded a school groundskeeper diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma $289 million in damages. That award was later reduced to $80 million.