U.S. District Judge Vince Chaabria selected the first federal trial accusing Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing weed killers of causing cancer. The case of California resident Edwin Hardeman will be tried as a bellwether among more than 620 pending in the federal litigation in February 2019.
The trial is scheduled six months after the first case among more than 9,000 went to trial in a California state court. School groundskeeper DeWayne “Lee” Jackson was awarded $289 million after a jury found that his regular use of Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His award was later reduced to $78 million.
Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in June, says it will appeal the decision, and will continue to fight the claims despite the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in 2015, listing glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and Ranger Pro, as a probable carcinogen. Since the multi-million-dollar verdict in August, Bayer’s shares took a 30 percent nosedive.
Hardeman filed his lawsuit against Monsanto a year after his February 2015 non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. He claims he used “large volumes” of Roundup regularly since the 1980s to control poison oak and other weeds on his property.
A month after Hardeman’s case is scheduled to go to trial, the next Roundup case in California state court is scheduled to take place. An elderly couple requested, and was granted, an expedited trial due to their advanced age and terminal diagnoses. The couple claimed to have used Roundup regularly in their home garden. Both were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Another Roundup trial in a Missouri state court is expected to begin later in 2019.