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United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
October 23, 2020, Argued and Submitted, San Francisco, California; May 14, 2021, Filed
Nos. 19-16636, 19-16708
[*950] R. NELSON, Circuit Judge:
Monsanto Company manufactures Roundup, a pesticide with the active ingredient glyphosate. Since 2015, thousands of cancer victims have sued Monsanto in state and federal court, alleging that Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This appeal arises out of the first bellwether trial for the federal cases consolidated in a multidistrict litigation.
The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, [**9] awarding him $5,267,634.10 in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages. The district court reduced the jury's punitive damages award to $20 million.
Monsanto appeals, arguing the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act ("FIFRA") preempts Hardeman's failure-to-warn claims; the district court made a series of evidentiary and jury instruction errors; the district court erred in denying judgment as a matter of law; and the punitive damages award violates California law and the Due Process Clause. Hardeman cross-appeals, arguing the jury's $75 million punitive damages award was constitutional.
We affirm the district court and hold that (1) Hardeman's state failure-to-warn claims are not preempted by FIFRA; (2) the district court ultimately applied the correct standard from Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S. Ct. 2786, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469 (1993), and did not abuse its discretion in admitting Hardeman's expert testimony; (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the International Agency for Research on Cancer's classification of glyphosate as probably carcinogenic and three regulatory rejections of that classification but excluding evidence from other regulatory bodies; (4) the district court's jury instruction on causation, though erroneous, was harmless; (5) Monsanto was properly denied [**10] judgment as a matter of law because evidence shows the carcinogenic risk of glyphosate was knowable at the time of Hardeman's exposure; and (6) evidence supports a punitive damages award, punitive damages were properly reduced, and the reduced award—while close to the outer limits—is constitutional.
] Under FIFRA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") enforces "the use, . . . sale[,] and labeling of pesticides." Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC, 544 U.S. 431, 437, 125 S. Ct. 1788, 161 L. Ed. 2d 687 (2005) (citation omitted). A state may "not impose or continue in effect any requirements for labeling or packaging in addition to or different from those" required by FIFRA. 7 U.S.C. § 136v(b).
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997 F.3d 941 *; 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 14344 **; 115 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 948; 2021 WL 1940550
EDWIN HARDEMAN, Plaintiff-Appellee/Cross-Appellant, v. MONSANTO COMPANY, Defendant-Appellant/Cross-Appellee.
Subsequent History: Later proceeding at Monsanto Co. v. Hardeman, 2021 U.S. LEXIS 6152 (U.S., Dec. 13, 2021)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. D.C. Nos. 3:16-cv-00525-VC, 3:16-md-02741-VC. Vince G. Chhabria, District Judge, Presiding.
Hardeman v. Monsanto Co. (In re Roundup Prods. Liab. Litig.), 385 F. Supp. 3d 1042, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117594, 2019 WL 3219363 (N.D. Cal., July 15, 2019)Hardeman v. Monsanto (In re Roundup Prods. Liab. Litig.), 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119281 (N.D. Cal., July 17, 2019)
glyphosate, district court, label, causation, cancer, pesticide, award of punitive damages, studies, ratio, compensatory damages, reprehensibility, punitive damages, cases, manufacturers, carcinogenic, warning, registration, exposure, scientific, classification, preempted, reliably, causes, misbranding, disease, epidemiological, admitting, clinical experience, diagnosis, damages
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