Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Monsanto tees up SCOTUS slugfest over landmark cancer verdict


The Supreme Court could decide this week whether to take up a legal battle that has the potential to upend a watershed victory by a California landowner against the manufacturer of a popular weedkiller.

Monsanto Co.’s petition — should the Supreme Court choose to take it — would throw into question the future of a $25 million verdict a jury awarded to Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after years of using Roundup on his San Francisco Bay Area property, as well as potentially billions more in settlements.

Hardeman’s verdict, which was affirmed this year by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was the test case for thousands of trials over the harm posed by glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup.

Monsanto wrote in its petition for Supreme Court review that the justices should not allow the 9th Circuit’s decision to govern that massive body of consolidated cases.

“Because important federal questions related to Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that would otherwise be tested in different courts nationwide are instead being resolved solely in a single district, this Court should not wait to grant review,” Monsanto wrote.

Monsanto v. Hardeman is one of thousands of petitions that make their way to the Supreme Court each year. The justices grant just a tiny fraction of the petitions they receive.

The petition is scheduled for discussion during the justices’ conference tomorrow. They could announce a decision by early next week on whether they will hear the case.


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