Roundup Case Shows State Law Can Top Preemption Defense

Law360 (June 1, 2021, 5:01 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a $25 million verdict in Hardeman v. Monsanto Co., the bellwether trial of a cancer case involving the herbicide Roundup.[1] The court rejected the defendant's argument that federal law preempted the plaintiff's state law failure-to-warn claims because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had registered Roundup and approved its label.

The court's refusal to recognize a federal preemption defense underscores that in some cases, state statutes, rather than federal ones, may provide a better defense. California, where the case arose, is not one of the growing number of states that has...

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