Roundup Trial Verdict Could Signal Large Liability for Monsanto


August 14, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – August 13, 2018 (foxbusiness.com) As reported by foxbusiness.com, a trial against Roundup maker Monsanto concluded August 10 with a verdict for the plaintiff and an award of $289 million in damages. The result could signal a large future liability for Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer.*

On August 10, a jury in San Francisco awarded plaintiff Dewayne Lee Johnson $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages in his case against Monsanto. Johnson, 46, claimed Monsanto’s weed killer, Roundup, caused him to develop terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

Johnson worked as a school groundskeeper for several years, during which he sprayed significant quantities of Roundup. The jury found that Roundup caused or contributed to Johnson’s cancer, and that Monsanto knew or should have known about the risks associated with its product. 

Currently, hundreds of cases are pending against Monsanto in federal court in California. The cases have been consolidated into what is known as a Multidistrict Litigation or “MDL.” The sizeable verdict in favor of Johnson could be an indication of large liabilities in store for Monsanto and Bayer, but Monsanto has stated it plans to appeal the decision in Johnson’s case. Monsanto also quickly moved to make assurances that it was not wavering on its claims as to Roundup’s safety. 

The company’s vice president Scott Partridge said in a statement that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, “does not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer.” Bayer’s shareholders seem to be slightly less confident, however, as shares dropped significantly following news of the verdict. 

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