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Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289M in First Cancer Liability Lawsuit

A California jury has ordered Monsanto to pay a school groundskeeper $289 million after the man alleged that the company’s RoundUp brand glyphosate-based herbicide caused his cancer.

Dewayne Johnson was the first litigant to go to trial against the company for damages allegedly caused by their product, and the case is the first of what could amount to 5,000 such lawsuits across the U.S. Over the course of the four-week-long trial, the jury heard testimony from a range of experts including doctors, statisticians, epidemiologists, and public health officials who all had conflicting views. However, a lawyer for Johnson stated that the jury saw internal Monsanto documents showing that the company knew that RoundUp was a possible carcinogen for decades.

The jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court deliberated for three days before awarding $39 million in compensatory damages, and another $250 million in punitive damages to 46-year old Johnson who filed in 2016. The case was fast-tracked due to the severity of Johnson’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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