Bayer’s Monsanto asks U.S. court to toss $289 mln glyphosate verdict

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(Reuters) – Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE) unit Monsanto on Tuesday requested a California decide to throw out a $289 million jury verdict awarded to a person who alleged the corporate’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, together with Roundup, gave him most cancers.

FILE PHOTO: Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller atomizers are displayed on the market at a backyard store close to Brussels, Belgium, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

The firm mentioned in motions filed in San Francisco’s Superior Court of California that the jury’s determination was insufficiently supported by the proof introduced at trial by college groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson.

Johnson’s case, filed in 2016, was fast-tracked for trial due to the severity of his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a most cancers of the lymph system, that he alleged was brought on by years of publicity to Roundup and Ranger Pro, one other Monsanto herbicide that comprises glyphosate.

Monsanto requested Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos, who oversaw the trial, to put aside the verdict or, within the different, cut back the award or grant a brand new trial. A listening to on the motions is about for Oct. 10.

The firm, which denies the allegations, has beforehand mentioned it could attraction the verdict if mandatory.

Johnson’s case was the primary to go to trial over allegations that glyphosate causes most cancers. Monsanto is dealing with some eight,000 related lawsuits throughout the United States.

Shares in Bayer, which purchased Monsanto this yr for $63 billion, slid following the Aug. 10 jury determination and the inventory was nonetheless buying and selling some 20 % beneath its pre-verdict worth of 73.30 euros ($85.45) on Tuesday.

“The jury’s decision is wholly at odds with over 40 years of real-world use, an extensive body of scientific data and analysis … which support the conclusion that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe for use and do not cause cancer in humans,” Bayer mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday.

Bayer mentioned Johnson failed to show glyphosate induced his most cancers and the scientific proof he introduced at trial “fell well below the causation standard required under California law.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September 2017 concluded a decades-long evaluation of glyphosate dangers and located the chemical shouldn’t be a possible carcinogen to people. However, the most cancers unit of the World Health Organisation in 2015 labeled glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

The jury discovered Monsanto failed to warn Johnson and different shoppers of the most cancers dangers posed by its weed-killers. It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.

The firm in its movement for a brand new trial additionally mentioned statements by attorneys for Johnson infected and inappropriately influenced the jurors. Some authorized specialists have mentioned Monsanto faces lengthy odds on attraction on these grounds.

Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Tom Brown

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