Bayer lawsuit: Judge cuts punitive damages in glyphosate-cancer case from $75 million to $20 million

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Plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, right, with his wife Mary. Image: Jeff Chiu/AP

A federal judge on [July 15] slashed a damages award Bayer AG owed a California man who blamed Roundup weed killer for his cancer, to $25.27 million from $80.27 million, while rejecting the company’s bid for a new trial.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said evidence against the former Monsanto Co, which Bayer bought last year, supported the $5.27 million in compensatory damages that a jury awarded Edwin Hardeman. He also said the jury acted reasonably in awarding punitive damages.

Chhabria nonetheless reduced punitive damages to $20 million from $75 million, saying that while Monsanto “deserves to be punished” the higher award was “constitutionally impermissible” because it was nearly 15 times the compensatory damages award.

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“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.

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Read full, original article: U.S. judge slashes Roundup jury award to $25.3 million; Bayer still plans to appeal

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