Legal

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m in cancer trial

A California jury have found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused him cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages. Saskia O’Donoghue reports

Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289 million to a man who says their weed-killers caused his cancer.

A California jury found the company liable in the lawsuit brought by school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson.

He’d alleged that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused his illness after using the weed killer up to 30 times a year.

He says he’s hoping his case will help others in similar situations.

LAWSUIT WINNER DEWAYNE JOHNSON,

“I’m glad to be here to help with this situation after I learned about Roundup and glyphosate and everything. I’m glad to be able to be here to help, but the cause is way bigger than me, so hopefully this thing will start to get the attention that it needs to get right, so folks can make a good choice.”

Monsanto now faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

The case was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial.

The jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that the company had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers.

It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, causes cancer.

They say that decades of scientific studies have shown the chemical to be safe for human use.

Johnson’s case, filed in 2016, was fast-tracked for trial due to the severity of his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Doctors say he is unlikely to live past 2020.

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