The first federal appeals court to review a Roundup plaintiff’s verdict came down overwhelmingly in support of the award, including $20 million in punitive damages that it held were justified given that Monsanto was “ignoring Roundup’s carcinogenic risks.”
Friday’s 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disagreed with Monsanto that federal law—in particular, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act—preempted plaintiff Edwin Hardeman’s claims that the company had failed to warn about Roundup’s link to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A federal jury in San Francisco had awarded $80 million to Hardeman, diagnosed with the disease in 2015. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria reduced the amount to $25.3 million but, finding Monsanto’s conduct “reprehensible,” retained $20 million in punitive damages.
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