U.S. jury says Bayer must pay $81 million to man in Roundup cancer trial

 U.S. jury says Bayer must pay  million to man in Roundup cancer trial

By Alexandria Sage

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. jury on Wednesday awarded $81 million to a man who claimed his use of Bayer AG'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 $5.9 million in compensatory 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.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage in San Francisco; Writing by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2019 05:05:19 IST