Monsanto ordered to pay USD 290 million to cancer patient

Aug 12, 2018, 10:00 IST | Agencies

Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto - which vowed to appeal - acted with "malice" and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed "substantially" to Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness

Monsanto ordered to pay USD 290 million to cancer patient
Dwayne Johnson and Scott Partridge, Monsanto VP. Pics/AFP

A California jury ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay nearly $290 million for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that its weed killer Roundup might cause cancer.

Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto - which vowed to appeal - acted with "malice" and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed "substantially" to Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness. Following eight weeks of trial proceedings, the San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $250 million in punitive damages along with compensatory damages and other costs, bringing the total figure to nearly $290 million.

"The jury got it wrong," the company's vice president Scott Partridge told reporters outside the courthouse. Johnson, a California groundskeeper diagnosed in 2014 with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - a cancer that affects white blood cells - says he repeatedly used a professional form of Roundup while working at a school in California.
"I want to thank everybody on the jury from the bottom of my heart," Johnson, 46, said after the verdict.

"I am glad to be here; the cause is way bigger than me. Hopefully this thing will get the attention it needs." The lawsuit built on 2015 findings by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the WHO, which classified Roundup's main ingredient glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, causing the state of California to follow suit.

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