Tuesday’s unanimous jury decision in San Francisco federal court was not a finding of Bayer’s liability for the development of cancer in plaintiff Edwin Hardeman. Liability and damages will be decided by the same jury in a second trial phase beginning Wednesday, according to Reuters.
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Hardeman’s attorneys told a 6-member jury on Wednesday that Monsanto should be punished for failing to adequately study Roundup, and for failing to warn consumers about its potential to cause cancer. The lawyers declined to put a number on punitive damages, but did note that Bayer recently acquired Monsanto for $63 billion.
The prosecution concluded by asking the jury to find Monsanto liable for failure to warn claims and to award Hardeman $200,000 to cover his medical bills. If the jury finds Monsanto liable, it will be up to them to decide how much Monsanto should pay in noneconomic and punitive damages. But she pointed out that Monsanto has $2.4 billion of cash on hand and its net worth is $7.8 billion.
Bayer’s shares fell more than 12% on news of the verdict; it was the company’s worst 1-day loss in 16 years, according to Reuters.
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