In 2015, 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after decades of using Monsanto’s Roundup to fight poison oak and weeds in his yard. He filed a lawsuit against Monsanto in 2016, arguing that the company failed to warn about the significant cancer risks associated with its weed killer. Aimee Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore of Moore Law Group obtained a groundbreaking $80 million jury verdict on Hardeman’s behalf, which includes punitive damages meant to punish Monsanto for its egregious behavior. Now, the company is trying to upend the verdict and is still arguing that Roundup is safe — even though “it still hasn’t tested its product, despite knowing full well that it poses a serious risk to human health.”
As Public Justice noted, the verdict reflects Monsanto’s “despicable conduct in refusing to test Roundup and in waging a decades-long campaign to manipulate the science and hide the risks of its deadly product from regulators and the public.” U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria echoed this point in a post-trial ruling, noting that Monsanto was clearly more concerned with manipulating public opinion than it was with ensuring the safety of its product.
But if Monsanto successfully appeals Hardeman’s verdict, the company could avoid any future liability for cancer cases and other injuries caused by Roundup, which is still on the market. Public Justice is refusing to let that happen. “We’re going to keep fighting to ensure that the Ed Hardemans of the world can hold the powerful accountable in court—and hopefully help make the world just a little bit safer.”
We’ll be cheering on Hardeman’s legal team, including Leslie Brueckner, co-counsel on the appeal, through this upcoming battle. When trial lawyers don’t back down from massive companies whose negligence let people get hurt, they send a message that it’s never OK to value profit over safety.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).