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By SUDHIN THANAWALA

SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. jury on Wednesday awarded more than $80 million in damages to a California man who blamed Roundup weed killer for his cancer, in a case that his attorneys say could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits.

Edwin Hardeman proved that Roundups design was defective, it lacked sufficient cancer warnings and its manufacturer, agribusiness giant Monsanto, was negligent, the six-person jury in San Francisco found.It awarded Hardeman more than $5 million in compensation and an additional $75 million in punitive damages. Hardeman, 70, put his arm around his wife, Mary, as the verdict was read and hugged his attorneys.

Monsanto says studies have established that glyphosate, the active ingredient in its widely used weed killer, is safe. The company said it will appeal.

“We are disappointed with the jurys decision, but this verdict does not change the weight of over four decades of extensive science and the conclusions of regulators worldwide that support the safety of our glyphosate-based herbicides and that they are not carcinogenic,” according to a statement from Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year.

Hardeman said he used Roundup products to treat poison oak, overgrowth and weeds on his San Francisco Bay Area property for years. The same jury previously found that Roundup was a substantial factor in Hardemans non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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“Today, the jury sent a message loud and clear that companies should no longer put products on the market for anyone to buy without being truthful, without testing their product and without warning if it causes cancer,” said Jennifer Moore, one of Hardemans attorneys.

Hardeman and his wife thanked their attorneys and jurors but declined additional comment.A different jury in August awarded another man $289 million, but a judge later slashed it to $78 million. Monsanto has appealed.

Hardemans trial may be more significant than that case. U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria is overseeing hundreds of Roundup lawsuits and has deemed Hardemans case and two others “bellwether trials.”

The outcome of such cases can help attorneys decide whether to keep fighting similar lawsuits or settle them. Legal experts said verdicts Read More – Source

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