A judge in California upheld a landmark verdict that found Monsanto’s Roundup caused a groundkeepers cancer. However, it was slashed from $289 Million to $78 Million.
In August, a California jury found that at least part of Plantiff De Wayne Johnson’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma was caused by glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup. DeWayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper, applied Roundup weedkiller around 30 times a year while he worked as a groundskeeper for a school district close to San Francisco. In 2014, Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and his trial was expedited due to the severity of his cancer.
Today, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos ruled that the punitive damage award must be limited, as she felt it was overreached, and to protect Monsanto’s due process rights. While Bolanos originally stated she would consider wiping out the entire $250 million judgement, she changed her course. Some of the jurors from the trial were so upset by her statement to wiping out the judgement, that they wrote to her.
According to NBC News, some of the notes said the following, “”I urge you to respect and honor our verdict and the six weeks of our lives that we dedicated to this trial,” juror Gary Kitahata wrote. Juror Robert Howard said that the jury paid “studious attention” to the evidence and that any decision to overturn its verdict would shake his confidence in the judicial system.”
Hundreds of lawsuits are still pending, alleging that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, causes cancer. Johnson’s trial was the first.