In a second trial involving Monsanto Co.'s weedkiller Roundup, a jury in California concluded that a man developed cancer after using the company's top-selling product, The Wall Street Journal reported March 19.
Monsanto, now owned by Germany's Bayer AG, has been sued by about 8,000 plaintiffs in U.S. state and federal courts for injuries resulting from its glyphosate-based herbicide.
The six-person jury in U.S. District Court in San Francisco will now move to the second phase of the trial to assess whether Monsanto should be held liable, according to the news outlet.
In January, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria's ruled that the trial will proceed into two phases, where the plaintiffs would first have to prove that Roundup causes cancer before claiming that Monsanto acted with malice.
The case was brought by California's Edwin Hardeman, who claims to have developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Monsanto's products.
The German drug and chemicals giant said it is disappointed with the jury's initial decision but remains confident that evidence for the second phase of the trial will show that Bayer should not be liable for Hardeman's cancer. Bayer added that the initial decision has no effect on future cases and trials of Roundup because each case has its own factual and legal circumstances.
Bayer was previously hit with a $289 million verdict in 2018 after a jury found that using Roundup resulted in a former school groundskeeper's non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of blood cancer. The plaintiff later accepted a reduced award of $78 million.
The verdict creates uncertainty for Bayer, which acquired Monsanto for $62.5 billion after going through long and intense regulatory scrutiny in multiple countries.
According to the Journal, the California trial is expected to be followed by six more trials in 2019 in various federal and state courts.