In August of 2018, the first Roundup cancer trial, a California state court case, resulted in a $289.2 million jury verdict. However, the judge overseeing the trial of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Co. later reduced the damage award to $78.5 million. Monsanto (now Bayer) filed an appeal shortly thereafter.
Roughly a year after his diagnosis, Mr. Hardeman retained the law firm of Andrus Wagstaff and filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. on Feb. 12, 2016. Judge Chhabria selected his case as the first out of hundreds of other Monsanto Roundup cancer cases in the MDL to go before a jury.
In January of 2019, Judge Chhabria decided to grant Monsanto’s request to bifurcate Mr. Hardeman’s trial. Bifurcation creates two phases for trial.
The first phase addresses evidence relevant to causation, specifically, whether or not Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide significantly contributed to Mr. Hardeman developing NHL. If the jury finds that exposure to Roundup significantly contributed to Mr. Hardeman’s cancer, the case proceeds to the second phase, which focuses on Monsanto’s knowledge, conduct and damages (both compensatory and punitive).
Aimee Wagstaff (lead trial counsel) of Andrus Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore of Moore Law Group represent Mr. Hardeman. R. Brent Wisner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman will conduct direct examination of Dr. Christopher Portier, one of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses. Mr. Wisner served as co-lead trial counsel in Johnson v. Monsanto.
Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company Trial Transcripts
Day 1: 2/25/19 – Plaintiff opening statement by Aimee H. Wagstaff and defense opening statement by Brian L. Stekloff. Aimee Wagstaff begins direct examination of Beate Ritz, MD, PhD, Chair of the Epidemiology Department at UCLA.
Dr. Ritz is a professor of Epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds doctoral degrees in Medicine and Epidemiology. She is the author of numerous toxicology publications, lectures and presentations. Dr. Ritz engaged in a systematic review of the literature in this case, utilized the Bradford Hill Criteria and concluded that “to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, glyphosate causes NHL. Furthermore, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, glyphosate-based formulations, including Roundup, cause NHL.”
She received her MD and a PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of Hamburg Germany in 1983 and 1987 and received doctoral training and a PhD degree in Epidemiology in 1995 from UCLA.
Day 2: 2/26/19 – Dr. Ritz direct examination by Aimee Wagstaff. Dr. Ritz cross-examination by Tamarra Matthews Johnson. Dr. Ritz redirect examination by Aimee Wagstaff. Video deposition of Daniel Goldstein (Monsanto Lead Medical Sciences and Outreach).
Dr. Portier holds a Ph.D. in Biostatistics (with a minor in Epidemiology). For over three decades, Dr. Portier held prominent leadership positions in the U.S. government that combined the disciplines of toxicology, statistics and epidemiology, including:
Associate Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) National Toxicology Program and thus the nation’s chief toxicologist, among other roles at NIEHS.
Director of the National Center for Environmental Health, Center for Disease and Prevention.
Director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
Dr. Portier conducted a systematic review of the literature in this case, utilized the Bradford Hill Criteria, and concluded, “[i]n my opinion, glyphosate probably causes NHL and, given the human, animal and experimental evidence, I assert that, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, the probability that glyphosate causes NHL is high.”
Day 6: 3/5/19 – Dr.Christopher Portier video testimony (continued). Plaintiff Edwin Hardeman direct examination by Jennifer Moore. No cross examination. Direct examination of Dr. Dennis Weisenburger, Chair of the Pathology Department of the City of Hope Medical Center.
Dr. Weisenburger specializes in the studies of the hematopoietic and immune systems, with a special interest in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His study of the pathological mechanisms by which NHL develops began in the 1980s when he was directing large epidemiologic studies related to NHL.
Over the last four decades, Dr. Weisenburger has published over 300 papers on NHL in peer-reviewed journals, and over 50 papers on the epidemiology of NHL, including studies on glyphosate and NHL. Dr. Weisenburger engaged in a systematic review of the literature regarding glyphosate, utilized the Bradford Hill Criteria, and concluded that to “a reasonable degree of medical certainty that glyphosate and GBFs [glyphosate-based formulations] (including Roundup) can cause NHL in humans exposed to these chemicals in the workplace or environment.”
Day 7: 3/6/19 – Dr. Weisenburger testimony (continued). Direct examination by Jennifer Moore. Cross-examination by Brian Stekloff. Redirect examination by Jennifer Moore. Recross-examination by Brian Stekloff.