The Monsanto group, owned by the German chemical giant and pharmacist Bayer, was found guilty of negligence by a jury in California and sentenced to pay about US $81 million to an American who suffers from a cancer attributed to Roundup, a herbicide of the group business
The move represents a setback for Bayer, whose shares are in free fall because of Monsanto’s thick judicial dossier, which last August was already ordered to pay US $289 million to a gardener with non-Hodgkins lymphoma to rule that the Roundup was the cause. The fine was then reduced to US $78.5 million by a judge, but Bayer appealed the sentence.
As before, the jury found that Monsanto did not act in good faith to warn Roundup users of the potential carcinogenic risk of its product, which contains glyphosate.
The jury considered that Roundup had a “design flaw” because it “lacked” health warnings about the risks involved and that Monsanto had acted “negligently”.
The failure has turned out to face Bayer, since 75 of the 81 million euros are as punishment for his performance.
The court ordered the company to pay Edwin Hardeman US $75 million in punitive damages, US $5.6 million in damages and US $200,000 in medical expenses.
Hardeman, 70, says the use of Roundup for 25 years, whose main ingredient is the chemical glyphosate, contributed to his diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Deutsche Welle said.
Hardeman’s attorneys, who celebrated and embraced their client when the verdict was announced, said they were delighted that the jury had unanimously ruled in their favor and that Monsanto should answer for their actions.