BAYER’S FEET HELD TO THE FIRE AFTER JURY FINDS THAT ROUNDUP CAUSED CALIFORNIA MAN’S NON-HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA
Bayer is certainly feeling the heat with its stock plummeting 12.5%, overnight (the biggest intraday loss in 16 years – estimated to have cost Bayer about $9.1 billion), after a second California jury ruled on Tuesday (March 19, 2019), that its weed killer, Roundup, causes cancer. This second verdict falls on the heels of an August 2018 verdict, where a groundskeeper was awarded $289 million after a state court jury in San Francisco found that Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. That verdict was later reduced to $78 million and is now on appeal.
With over 11,200 Roundup cases currently on file in various jurisdictions across the United States, this is the first matter to have gone to trial in federal court, and a second trial is scheduled to start in May. The Plaintiff in this case, Edwin Hardeman, is one of approximately 2,000 plaintiffs with a Roundup case currently pending in a MultiDistrict Litigation or “MDL”, in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. More specifically, the Roundup MDL is a consolidation of all federally-filed Roundup cases involving individuals who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, following their use of the herbicide. Likewise, there are similar coordinations in several state courts, including California and Missouri.
In January, the presiding judge in the Roundup MDL, Judge Vince Chhabria, made a rather unusual ruling, deciding that Mr. Harderman’s case would be bifurcated (i.e., completed in two separate stages). The first stage involving the jury having to decide whether Roundup significantly contributed to Mr. Harderman’s development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and the second stage involving the jury having to decide liability (i.e., whether Bayer knew, or should have known, that Roundup causes cancer) and damages. Having concluded that Roundup was a substantial factor in causing Mr. Harderman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the jury will now hear testimony regarding Bayer’s conduct (what it knew or should have known) and how having cancer has impacted Mr. Harderman’s health and well-being.
Despite two consecutive juries concluding that Roundup causes cancer, Bayer remains confident that the Harderman jury will find zero fault with its conduct, citing its reliance on the overwhelming scientific data, including the draft human health risk assessment published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December of 2017, that concludes that Roundup is most likely not carcinogenic to humans. However, Bayer’s confidence may be ill-placed as documents that were recently unsealed suggest that Bayer had ghostwritten the favorable research on which it now relies in support of its claims that it did not act negligently in warning consumers about the potential harms and risks associated with its products. Even more, these recently unsealed documents revealed that a senior EPA official worked to quash a government review of Roundup and that there was disagreement within the EPA regarding its December 2017 risk assessment.
The Yost Legal Group is currently investigating Roundup claims from all 50 states. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma following exposure to Roundup, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out if you have a claim, please contact our toxic exposure attorneys today at 1-800-YOST-LAW for a free consultation, or fill out one of our Case Evaluation Forms. Shortly after clicking “submit,” an experienced, Yost Legal Group professional will contact you to review your information and answer any questions you may have. Remember, there is no fee or expense unless you recover.