Published: August 8, 2020

Category: The Non-GMO Blog

But court reduces damages to $20.5 million

Bayer suffered another defeat in the legal battle over the link between its Roundup herbicide and cancer. A California Court of Appeal recently ruled against the company’s attempt to overturn a verdict favoring Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper, who claimed his cancer was caused by Roundup. But the court reduced the amount of damages paid to Johnson from $78 million to $20.5 million.

In its 86-page decision, the appeals court said Johnson offered “abundant” evidence that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, caused his cancer.

The court said that Johnson was entitled to receive $10.25 million in compensatory damages and another $10.25 million in punitive damages.

The court said in its ruling: “Monsanto argues that Johnson failed to prove liability, that insufficient evidence supports the jury’s findings on causation, and that Johnson’s causes of action were, in any event, preempted by federal law. None of these arguments are persuasive.”

The court also said that “there was overwhelming evidence” that Johnson has suffered, and will continue to suffer for the rest of his life, significant pain and suffering.”

The appeals court said that Bayer is liable for punitive damages because there was substantial evidence that Monsanto acted with willful and conscious disregard of others’ safety.

Despite the defeat, Bayer has asked the court to reduce the damages by another $4 million to $16.5 million.

Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Bayer/Monsanto over Roundup’s link to cancer. In June, Bayer announced an agreement to settle 75% of the estimated 125,000 lawsuits, paying $9.6 billion to resolve the lawsuits. But another 20,00 plaintiffs say they have not agreed to settle with Bayer and those lawsuits are expected to go to court.

Sources: Associated Press, Carey Gillam, US Right to Know

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