(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a $ 25 million verdict and trial that found that the Bayers Roundup caused a California resident a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and struck a blow to the chemical company's hopes of limiting its legal risk of weed killer
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected Bayer's argument that lawsuits like Edwin Hardemans's should never go to trial because federal pesticide laws prevented allegations that the company did not warn of Roundup's cancer risks.
"It's a slam dunk for plaintiffs," said Leslie Brueckner, a public justice lawyer who assisted with Hardeman's appeal. "This proves that these allegations are viable in the damages system."
Bayer did not immediately respond to a request for comment
A jury awarded Hardeman $ 5 million in compensatory damages and $ 75 million in punitive damages in 201
Friday's decision was the first by a federal appeals court in a case involving Roundup and cancer, and Bayer had said the case had the potential to "shape how each subsequent Roundup case is the subject of litigation."
Bayer has said that decades of research have shown that Roundup and other market-dominated glyphosate-based herbicides are safe for human use.
The company claims that glyphosate was authorized. by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency as safe for humans and that supervisory authorities prevented it from adding a warning to the product's label.
But the company has spent several years trying to resolve the disputes.
Bayer has committed $ 9.6 billion to settle 125,000 claims. over Roundup. On Wednesday, it will seek preliminary approval for a proposed $ 2 billion deal to resolve future claims from millions of consumers and farm workers who have been exposed to Roundup but have not fallen ill. Proponents of the agreement to create a framework for resolving future cases had argued that consumers would benefit from the deal because they could lose the right to sue Bayer if a federal appeals court agreed to the company.
Consumer advocates and personal injury lawyers have opposed the $ 2 billion deal in future cases because they claim it incorrectly restricts the right to sue.
The agreement proposed that those exposed to Roundup receive free medical examinations and, if they develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, compensation of up to $ 200,000 as well as free legal advice.
The agreement would pause all disputes for four years and prevent consumers from claiming damages. But the person who rejects the compensation would still retain the right to sue for compensation when the dispute break expired. Catalog