As the legal movement to hold Monsanto accountable for selling a product known to cause cancer continues, a United States district judge has decided on the next plaintiff that Bayer, who acquired Monsanto in an acquisition last year, will face.
Edwin Hardeman, a California resident who diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system in Feb. 2015 and filed a lawsuit against Monsanto in 2016, will be the next plaintiff to go to trial. Reuters reported that Hardeman “began using the Roundup brand herbicide with glyphosate in the 1980s to control poison oak and weeds on his property and sprayed ‘large volumes’ of the chemical for many years on a regular basis, according to court documents.”
U.S. District Judge Vince Chaabria in San Francisco decided that Hardeman’s case will serve as a test trial since it’s the first federal glyphosate case to go to trial.
While Hardeman’s case is the first of its kind, another California state case is set for trial in March and a third is set to begin in St. Louis, Missouri later next year, EcoWatch reported.
Monsanto, who was found guilty in the first case to go to trial, is up against a multitude of lawsuits alleging Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbacide produced by the company, causes cancer. While the jury ruled in favor of Dewayne Johnson, 46, a former pest control manager for a California country school system who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his total compensation was reduced to $78 million by a judge after Bayer tried to have the verdict thrown out, but the ruling was upheld.
Bayer continues to argue that there is no correlation between glyphosate and cancer, but the second trial – out of around 9,300 pending lawsuits – will start in February, EcoWatch reported. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2017 glyphosate was not likely a carcinogen to humans after decades-long studies, the World Health Organization concluded the chemical was “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015.