Monsanto ordered to pay $289 million to cancer patient

10 Aug by Vitaliy Dadalyan

Monsanto ordered to pay $289 million to cancer patient

Chemical giant Monsanto was was ordered to pay $289 million (£226 million) in damages in the first trial over claims that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. Lee Johnson, a former school groundskeeper whose doctors didn’t think he’d live long enough to learn the verdict, prevailed Friday in San Francisco state court after jurors deliberated for three days. The trial was an important test of the evidence against Monsanto and will serve as a template for litigating thousands of other claims over the herbicide. Mr Johnson was seeking $412 million in damages. Jurors awarded him $39 million for his losses and $250 million to punish the company after finding it liable for a design defect and failing to warn of Roundup’s risks. Monsanto said it will appeal. “Today’s decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews – and conclusions by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world – support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr Johnson’s cancer,” said Scott Partridge, Monsanto vice president. Bottles of Roundup herbicide, a product of Monsanto Credit: Jeff Roberson/AP Germany’s Bayer AG closed a deal to buy Monsanto for $66 billion in June. If the litigation generates large verdicts against Monsanto, it could have a material impact on Bayer’s bottom line, said Chris Perrella, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. Since Roundup is ubiquitous in modern farming, there’s a “huge potential liability,” though it’s very uncertain it will materialise, he said. Bayer investors might not be aware of the risks because many analysts covering the company focus on pharmaceuticals, Mr Perrella said. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, was first approved for use in Monsanto’s weedkiller in 1974. While becoming the world’s …Read the rest of this story


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