Monsanto says $80M Roundup verdict was product of made-for-litigation testimony, asks judge to reconsider
Legal NewsLine | By Dan Fisher
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – Monsanto has asked a federal judge to throw out an $80 million jury verdict over its Roundup herbicide, saying the plaintiff failed to present any admissible scientific evidence the product caused the plaintiff’s cancer.
The unit of Bayer AG faces long odds before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco, who is overseeing thousands of similar lawsuits in the Roundup multidistrict litigation. Chhabria heard most of Monsanto’s arguments and rejected them already, ruling in a February order that while the plaintiffs’ scientific evidence was “shaky,” they had “barely inched over the line.”
Monsanto says plaintiff lawyers crossed that line by presenting expert testimony that violated the judge’s orders and improperly suggested to jurors that the plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman, had exposed himself to more than double the risk of contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by spraying Roundup when there was no credible evidence to support that conclusion. A doubling of the risk is considered sufficient in most courts for a jury to determine a substance more likely than not caused a plaintiff’s injury.