Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson looks on after hearing the verdict in his case against Monsanto at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. A San Francisco jury on Friday ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto to pay $289 million to the former school groundskeeper dying of cancer, saying the company’s popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease. (Josh Edelson/Pool Photo via AP), Featured Image
Monsanto suffered a major blow with a jury ruling that the company was liable for a terminally ill man’s cancer, awarding him $289m in damages.
Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old former groundskeeper, won a huge victory in the landmark case on Friday, with the jury determining that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller caused his cancer and that the corporation failed to warn him of the health hazards from exposure. The jury further found that Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression”.
Johnson’s lawyers argued over the course of a month-long trial in San Francisco that Monsanto had “fought science” for years and targeted academics who spoke up about possible health risks of the herbicide product. Johnson was the first person to take the agrochemical corporation to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the brand Roundup causes cancer.
In the extraordinary verdict, which Monsanto said it intends to appeal, the jury ruled that the company was responsible for “negligent failure” and knew or should have known that its product was “dangerous”.