(Reuters) – A California jury on Friday discovered Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a person who alleged the corporate’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, together with Roundup, precipitated his most cancers and ordered the corporate to pay $289 million in damages.
The case of college groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes most cancers. Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces greater than 5,000 comparable lawsuits throughout the United States.
The jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court of California deliberated for 3 days earlier than discovering that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and different customers of the most cancers dangers posed by its weed killers.
It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.
Monsanto in an announcement mentioned it will attraction the decision. “Today’s decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews…support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer,” the corporate mentioned.
Monsanto denies that glyphosate, the world’s most generally used herbicide, causes most cancers and says a long time of scientific research have proven the chemical to be secure for human use.
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 alleges was attributable to Roundup and Ranger Pro, one other Monsanto glyphosate herbicide. Johnson’s docs mentioned he’s unlikely to stay previous 2020.
A former pest management supervisor for a California county college system, Johnson, 46, utilized the weed killer up to 30 instances per 12 months.
Brent Wisner, a lawyer for Johnson, in an announcement mentioned jurors for the first time had seen inner firm paperwork “proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer.” He known as on Monsanto to “put consumer safety first over profits.”
Over the course of the four-week trial, jurors heard testimony by statisticians, docs, public well being researchers and epidemiologists who disagreed on whether or not glyphosate may cause most cancers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September 2017 concluded a decades-long evaluation of glyphosate dangers and located the chemical unlikely carcinogenic to people. But the World Health Organization’s most cancers arm in 2015 categorized glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)