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Mon Jul 15, 2019, 11:06 PM

U.S. judge slashes Roundup jury award to $25.3 million; Bayer still plans to appeal

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday slashed a damages award Bayer AG owed a California man who blamed Roundup weed killer for his cancer, to $25.27 million from $80.27 million, while rejecting the company’s bid for a new trial.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said evidence against the former Monsanto Co, which Bayer bought last year, supported the $5.27 million in compensatory damages that a jury awarded Edwin Hardeman. He also said the jury acted reasonably in awarding punitive damages.

Chhabria nonetheless reduced punitive damages to $20 million from $75 million, saying that while Monsanto “deserves to be punished” the higher award was “constitutionally impermissible” because it was nearly 15 times the compensatory damages award.

“Monsanto’s conduct, while reprehensible, does not warrant a ratio of that magnitude, particularly in the absence of evidence showing intentional concealment of a known or obvious safety risk,” Chhabria wrote.


Jonathan Stempel

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bayer-glyphosate-lawsuit/u-s-judge-slashes-roundup-jury-award-to-25-3-million-bayer-still-plans-to-appeal-idUSKCN1UA2CH

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jul 15, 2019, 11:57 PM

1. The judge may be correct on penalty form, but any of those amounts are mere pocket change for Bayer.

Last edited Tue Jul 16, 2019, 01:43 AM - Edit history (1)

They reported a net income for 2018 of $22.58 Billion, while gross receipts were $39.59 Billion. $25.3 Million is a lot of money to you and me. After the lawyers are paid what remains may even be substantial for the plaintiff. But as a penalty it's not even chump change to Bayer who took in more than $761 million a week last year, or roughly $152 million every day or roughly $3.8 million every working hour.

This is so far past sick and wrong that words just cannot express it. And you wonder why Congress seems to be owned...

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Response to Ford_Prefect (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:42 AM

3. If it were being awarded to a wealthy person, the judge would think the higher award OK

Judges like the one in this case think wealthy people deserve more money than they can ever deal with. I would like to see how many other cases this judge has cut penalties while citing unconstitutionality. The constitution says more about an individual's jury of peers than a judge striking a jury's judgement. Cruel and unusual? Fines to punish sales of chemicals which cause suffering until death seems very lenient. I don't see the justice or fairness in this judge's discretion. This reflects a corruption of the judge's sensibilities more than anything else.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 01:27 AM

2. Bayer is banking on an ultimate SCOTUS decision in their favor.They have revenue of 40B, so...

even a massive exposure of 8 billion or so is something they can absorb.

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Response to Midnight Writer (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:44 AM

4. A traffic ticket hits a middle class family harder than billions would hit Bayer

Bayer is getting a massive return on political contributions. As is said often 'political contributions are the best investment for the well to do'.

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