Bayer Loses Bid for a New Trial in $80 Million Roundup Case

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Bayer AG won’t get a new trial in the case of a California man who was awarded $80 million by a jury after it found exposure to the company’s Roundup weed killer caused his cancer.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco is expected to issue a second ruling Monday on whether to reduce the damages in the case. He indicated at a hearing this month that part of the damages awarded for pain and suffering may have been miscalculated and that the $75 million portion of the verdict intended to punish the company may be too high.

In Friday’s ruling, Chhabria found that Edwin Hardeman presented “sufficient admissible evidence” to the jury that exposure to Roundup caused his cancer.

A Bayer spokesman said the company wasn’t surprised the judge denied its request for a new trial after the arguments at the hearing were mostly about damages.

“As the court has not yet ruled on the damages portion of our post-trial motions, we will evaluate our legal options once there is a final ruling on these motions,” spokesman Chris Loder said in an email.

As the court has not yet ruled on the damages portion of our post-trial motions, we will evaluate our legal options once there is a final ruling on these motions.”

The German company has vowed to keep defending its popular weed killer after losing three trials since last summer, when it acquired Monsanto Co., which started making Roundup in the 1970s.

Hardeman used the herbicide on his large plot of land in Sonoma County, about 60 miles north of San Francisco. As with many of the other 13,400 consumers suing Bayer, Hardeman alleged that his years of exposure to the chemical caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer is scheduled for a fourth trial this summer in St. Louis, where Monsanto was based.

Chhabria is handling the collection of hundreds of federal suits over Roundup. In May, he appointed mediator Ken Feinberg to try to work out a settlement.

The case is In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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