Bayer won a tentative ruling that could slash most of the $289 million dollar award in the California trial regarding claims that glyphosate in Roundup causes cancer. A California judge is also considering the possibility of ordering a new trial on whether the company is really at fault for an ex-school groundskeeper’s illness. During a Bayer challenge in a San Francisco court this week, a judge says she’s inclined to set aside $250 million in punitive damages against Monsanto, which was recently acquired by Bayer. A Bloomberg report says the ruling could put some momentum back in Monsanto’s favor as the company prepares to defend itself against thousands of similar lawsuits. The California Superior Court Judge says even if she doesn’t set aside the punitive damages, she is likely to grant a new trial “on the grounds of insufficiency of the evidence to justify the award for punitive damages.” She also questioned whether the evidence in the first trial actually supported the jury’s conclusion that Bayer was liable for the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma based on his exposure to glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup. The Bloomberg report says if the company persuades the judge to slash or eliminate the previous verdict, it might make some plaintiffs less likely to move ahead with their claims.
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