U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria is asking Monsanto and its new owner Bayer AG to begin mediation with lawyers for cancer victims who have sued Monsanto alleging its Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Chhabria’s move comes in the wake of an $80 million jury award to plaintiffs Edwin Hardeman last month in his courtroom. And last summer plaintiff Dewayne “Lee” Johnson was awarded $289 million by a jury in state court, though the judge in that case lowered the damages to $78 million.
Chhabria had warned that he might make such a move, but had indicated that he would likely wait until three trials had been concluded before pushing for a settlement. The third Roundup cancer trial has only just gotten underway, however.
As he pushes the parties to settle, Chabbria has vacated the May 20 trial date that was set for the next federal trial. That case, Stevick v. Monsanto was filed in April 2016 by Elaine Stevick, who has non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and her husband Christopher Stevick. The couple attended portions of the Hardeman trial.