March 20 (UPI) -- A federal jury in San Francisco has ruled the popular herbicide Roundup was a "likely" cause of a California man's non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the blood that affects lymph tissues.
The six-person jury deliberated for four days before ruling in favor of Edwin Hardeman, 70, who said he used Roundup for decades before he was diagnosed in 2015. Jurors agreed that Hardeman proved the herbicide was probably a "substantial factor" in his affliction.
The jury will next determine if Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, is liable for Hardeman's condition -- and if it is, how much it should pay in damages.
There are 760 cases against Monsanto before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who's hearing the Hardeman case, and another 10,000 pending nationwide. The San Francisco case could create settlement guidelines for those lawsuits.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," Hardeman attorneys Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore said in a statement after the verdict.
"It is clear from Monsanto's actions that it does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer," they added.
German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last summer, said it's "disappointed" in the ruling.
"We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate," it said. "The company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."