Bayer had purchased Monsanto back in 2016 and the product Roundup weedkiller has been linked to causing cancer.
Northern California resident Edwin Hardeman, had been diagnosed with cancer because of this weedkiller and had sued Bayer for his yearlong long Roundup use on his residential properties back in March. After four weeks in trial, a federal jury concluded his non-Hodgkin lymphoma was caused by this product and decided Bayer would owe $75 million in damages.
“Monsanto acted recklessly and with conscious disregard of safety, and that’s the exact opposite of what a company should be doing. A responsible company would test its product; a responsible company would tell consumers if they knew that it caused cancer – and Monsanto didn’t do either of those things,” said plaintiff attorney Jennifer Moore during closing arguments.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria has just reduced the cost Bayer would have to pay in damages by $55 million as the mega-corporation continues to battle thousands of similar cases throughout the U.S.
“Monsanto’s conduct, while reprehensible, does not warrant a ratio of that magnitude, particularly in the absence of evidence showing intentional concealment of a known or obvious safety risk,” Chhabria wrote.
Bayer continues to defend Roundup, as well as glyphosate, saying both are safe and have gone through hundreds of extensive scientific studies and its harmlessness is backed by regulators. Still, since 2015, the chemical has been under a lot of scrutiny after the International Agency for Research on Cancer linked the chemical to being “probably carcinogenic to humans.”