Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Bayer AG logo sits behind silhouetted members of the management board during the company’s annual general meeting in Bonn, Germany, May 25, 2018.
A U.S. jury on Wednesday awarded $80 million to a man who claimed his use of Bayer‘s glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup caused his cancer, in the latest legal setback for the company facing thousands of similar lawsuits.
The jury in San Francisco federal court said the company was liable for plaintiff Edwin Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It awarded $5 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages to Hardeman after finding that Roundup was defectively designed, that Monsanto failed to warn of the herbicide’s cancer risk and that the company acted negligently.
Bayer bought Roundup maker Monsanto last year for $63 billion.
The company denies the allegations, saying decades of studies by independent scientists have shown glyphosate and Roundup to be safe for human use.
The trial is only the second of more than 11,200 Roundup lawsuits set to go to trial in the United States. Previous litigation setbacks and a prior jury verdict against the company have sent Bayer shares plunging.
The verdict comes roughly a week after the same jury on March 19 found Roundup to have been a “substantial factor” in causing Hardeman’s cancer, allowing the trial to proceed into a second phase to determine liability and damages. Bayer shares fell more than 12 percent after last week’s jury finding.
Official correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the jury awarded over $80 million to the man, including $5 million in compensatory damages. Reuters misstated the figures in a previous version of its story.