Judge mulls slashing $290 mn award in Roundup cancer case

October 11, 2018
A jury ordered Roundup producer Monsanto to pay Dewayne Johnson $290 million in damages for not warning him that the weed killer might cause cancer

A judge on Wednesday was mulling whether to gut a jury order that Monsanto pay $290 million in damages for not warning a groundskeeper that its weed killer product Roundup might cause cancer.

In motions filed after the historic August verdict, Monsanto urged the judge to strip away the $250 million punitive portion of the damages, arguing that a new trial was justified.

Rival attorneys argued before California state Judge Suzanne Bolanos, who did not say when she would rule on the motions.

Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto acted with "malice" and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed "substantially" to Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness.

The San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $250 million in along with compensatory damages and other costs, bringing the total figure to nearly $290 million.

Johnson, a California groundskeeper diagnosed in 2014 with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma—a cancer that affects white blood cells—says he repeatedly used a professional form of Roundup while working at a school in Benicia, California.

Monsanto George Lombardi argued in court Wednesday that the evidence presented at trial did not support the , and that an attorney for Johnson was wrong to urge jurors to teach the company a lesson.

Monsanto was fined $290 million in August for not warning a groundskeeper that its weed killer product Roundup might cause cancer
"The message it sent to this jury was that you can look beyond what Mr Johnson's case is about and you can go out to things that you think society would like to hear about," Lombardi said in court.

Johnson sat nearby as his attorneys countered that jurors came to a lawful verdict based on what was presented at trial, and that Bolanos should deny Monsanto's motions.

"We have a jury that got it right and did it right," argued Johnson's attorney, Michael Miller.

"We need to respect the 's verdict."

Explore further: Monsanto asks judge to throw out $289M award in cancer suit

Related Stories

US trial over Roundup cancer link set to open

June 28, 2018

A first of its kind trial over whether Monsanto herbicide Roundup caused a groundskeeper's lethal cancer is scheduled to begin here on July 9 with opening remarks by attorneys.

Bayer shares plunge after Monsanto cancer ruling

August 13, 2018

Shares in German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer tumbled more than 10 percent as markets opened Monday, as investors reacted to a shock US ruling against freshly-acquired Monsanto.

Recommended for you

Researchers find positive visual contagion in Barbary macaques

December 12, 2018

A pair of researchers at the University of Roehampton has found that captive Barbary macaques are capable of engaging in positive visual contagion—a behavior normally only seen in humans. In their paper published in Proceedings ...

Hot possums risk losing their homes

December 12, 2018

As our world is warming under climate change, heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense, yet the vulnerability of our wildlife to such events is poorly understood. New research from Australia's Wet Tropics indicates ...

The real history of quantum biology

December 12, 2018

Quantum biology, a young and increasingly popular science genre, isn't as new as many believe, with a complicated and somewhat dark history, explain the founders of the world's first quantum biology doctoral training centre.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.