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U.S. Appeals Court Upholds $25 Mln Roundup Verdict in Blow to Bayer

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a $25 million judgment and trial verdict finding Bayer's Roundup caused a California resident's non-Hodgkin lymphoma, dealing a blow to the chemical company's hopes of limiting its legal risk over the weed-killer.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected Bayer's argument that lawsuits like Edwin Hardeman's never should go to trial because federal pesticide laws barred allegations that the company failed to warn of Roundup's cancer risks.

"It's a slam dunk for plaintiffs," said Leslie Brueckner, an attorney with Public Justice who helped with Hardeman's appeal. "This proves these claims are viable in the tort system."

Bayer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A jury in 2019 awarded Hardeman $5 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages in the first federal case to have gone to trial. The punitive award was later cut to $20 million