FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bayer AG shares sank to their lowest in almost seven years on Thursday after a U.S. jury awarded $80 million to a man who claimed use of the group’s weed killer Roundup caused his cancer, with thousands of similar lawsuits looming.
The jury in San Francisco federal court on Wednesday found Bayer liable because its Monsanto unit did not warn plaintiff Edwin Hardeman of the herbicide’s alleged cancer risks.
Chemicals - Bayer - Roundup - Maker - Monsanto
German chemicals giant Bayer, which bought Roundup maker Monsanto last year for $63 billion, said it would appeal the verdict.
Its shares were down 1.3 percent at 55.59 euros at 1023 GMT. That added to last week’s 9.6 percent plunge after the jury concluded part-way into the trial that there was a causal link between the weedkiller and Hardeman’s disease.
Steep - Slide - Verdict - Roundup - Lawsuit
The steep, steady slide since the first adverse verdict in a Roundup lawsuit in August 2018 has pushed Bayer’s value down to about 52 billion euros ($58 billion), which is several billion dollars less than what the drugs and crop chemicals group paid to acquire Monsanto in 2016.
On Wednesday, the jury awarded Hardeman $5 million in compensatory and $75 million in punitive damages. Under a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, punitive damages are generally limited to less than 10 times the compensatory damages award, meaning the current verdict will likely be reduced, said Adam Zimmerman, a law professor at Los Angeles-based Loyola Law School.
Trial - Second - Roundup - Lawsuits - Trial
The trial is only the second of more than 11,200 Roundup lawsuits set to go to trial in the United States.
In the first trial, a California man was awarded damages by a jury in state court in August, which were later reduced to $78 million from an original $289 million that Monsanto sought to throw out. The case is on appeal.
Roundup - Trial - Plaintiff
A third Roundup trial, handled by the same plaintiff...
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