A California federal judge has reduced a court-ordered penalty against Bayer to $25.2 million from $80.2 million. The award stems from a lawsuit against the company by a California man who claims glyphosate in Roundup caused his cancer.
Edward Hardeman says he used Roundup for years, and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014, but is now in remission. The federal judge in San Francisco says the higher award was “constitutionally impermissible” because it was nearly 15 times the compensatory damages award according to Reuters. The judge last year supported the $5.27 million in compensatory damages awarded by a jury. However, the judge stated, “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.”
Bayer, which now owns Monsanto, called the decision a “step in the right direction,” but plans to appeal. Bayer says the verdict and damages award conflict with “extensive science that supports the safety of Roundup.”