Monsanto Loses Landmark Roundup Cancer Trial, Set to Pay USD 289 Million in Damages

Posted on Aug 11 2018 - 1:31am by Sustainable Pulse

Monsanto has lost a landmark cancer trial in San Francisco and has been ordered by the Judge to pay over USD 289 Million in total damages to the former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, a California father who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which was caused by Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup.

Johnson, a father of three and former school groundskeeper, who doctors say may have just months to live, was the first person to take Monsanto to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the Roundup brand causes cancer. About 4,000 other people in the U.S. claim in lawsuits they were sickened by Roundup.

Johnson’s attorneys said he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma after spraying the glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer for two and a half years.

Monsanto is responsible for Dewayne “Lee” Johnson’s illness, suffering and reduced life expectancy because of the cancer-causing nature of its product, glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup, the San Francisco Superior Court jury determined on Friday. The jury deliberated for three days after a four-week trial.

The damages included $2.3 million in economic losses, $37 million for pain and emotional distress and $250 million in punitive damages. The punitive damages were based on the jury’s unanimous finding that Monsanto had “acted with malice or oppression” toward Johnson.

Johnson has undergone chemotherapy and is considering a bone-marrow transplant. One of his doctors testified that Johnson is unlikely to survive until 2020.

The verdict sends a message that Monsanto “acted with reckless disregard for human health,” said attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a member of Johnson’s trial team. “It’s a strong message to the boardroom of Bayer/Monsanto that it’s got to change.”

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Glyphosate, the world’s leading herbicide, was classified as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization. Monsanto, now a subsidiary of Bayer, held the initial patent and remains the leading distributor.

Co-lead trial counsel Brent Wisner said today’s verdict was a result of newly-revealed, confidential company documents.

“We were finally able to show the jury the secret, internal Monsanto documents proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer. Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to require labeling, we are proud that an independent jury followed the evidence and used its voice to send a message to Monsanto that its years of deception regarding Roundup is over and that they should put consumer safety first over profits.”

Damaging Evidence Presented in Johnson Trial Could Hurt Monsanto in Future Roundup Cancer Litigation

For years Monsanto has claimed that there is no evidence that Roundup causes cancer, yet a mountain of testimony and documents was admitted during the trial. Johnson’s attorneys proved through testimony from Monsanto’s witnesses that company employees “ghostwrote” scientific articles and paid outside scientists to publish the articles in their name.

US Court Documents Show Monsanto Manager Led Cancer Cover Up for Glyphosate and PCBs

Internal documents revealed that a scientific advisor hired by Monsanto told the company that past testing for Roundup was insufficient because glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was tested in isolation without the other chemical ingredients that make up the Roundup formulation.

“Many of these confidential Monsanto documents were unsealed for the first time,” said co-lead counsel David Dickens. “They show that Monsanto knew that its testing was insufficient and that there was a synergistic effect when glyphosate is combined with surfactants which help the glyphosate penetrate both plant and animal cell walls.”

In other now-public documents, Monsanto employees reacted to California EPA’s listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen by calling Californians “liberals and morons,” overwhelming Monsanto like a “zombie movie” that they had to take out one at a time starting with the 2016 presidential election.

Jury Heard Heart-Wrenching Testimony from the Johnson Family on the Effects of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Caused by Roundup Exposure

In addition to hearing from expert witnesses, the jury listened to heart-wrenching testimony from Lee Johnson and his wife, Araceli.

Araceli recalled for the jury the many sleepless nights Lee spent crying in bed when his children were not around. “He tried to hide it, and I think he tried to show that he was strong,” she said. “He tried to be positive; he wanted to be…for us and the kids.”

After her husband began chemotherapy, Araceli took a second job working 14-hour days to help pay the family’s rising medical bills while still driving her two sons an extra 45 minutes to Napa Valley School District in hopes of providing them better educational opportunities.

WHO Glyphosate Report Ends Thirty Year Cancer Cover Up

When Lee took the stand, he told the jury how scared and confused he was after receiving the news that he had cancer. He also described the times he contacted Monsanto to see if the skin lesions he developed were related to his use of Roundup. When he did not hear back from the company, he continued to use the herbicide.

Most notably, Johnson testified that he would never have used Roundup if he had known of the dangers, and accused Monsanto of concealing Roundup’s safety risks to continue profiting from its billion-dollar herbicide.

“I never would’ve sprayed that product on school grounds or around people if I knew it would cause them harm,” Johnson said during emotional testimony. “It’s unethical. It’s wrong. People don’t deserve that.”

The case is Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company.

A team of lawyers from three law firms represented Mr. Johnson in this trial: The Miller Firm, LLC of Orange, Virginia, Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C. of Los Angeles and Audet & Partners LLP of San Francisco. These firms represent thousands of Roundup cancer plaintiffs across the nation.

The firms are nationally known and handle complex product liability cases, among others, and hold leadership positions in the federal and California state Monsanto Roundup litigation.

The next Roundup cancer trial against Monsanto is also a state case and is scheduled to occur in October in St. Louis, Missouri. Now that the judge in the federal multi-district litigation (based in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco), has accepted several of the plaintiffs’ experts to testify, trial dates for the federal bellwether cases should be announced in the next couple of months.

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14 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. SUSAN KELSEY August 11, 2018 at 02:11 - Reply

    And the list gets longer and longer. Monsanto is an evil company and now they have to pay the price…..

  2. Thomas M Edmonds August 11, 2018 at 03:13 - Reply

    Poison the world no more,I hope!
    Maybe they will go on to make weeding robots, or something. I hope this shuts down Roundup!

  3. DianneC August 11, 2018 at 04:08 - Reply

    Music to my eyes… finally Monsanto is held responsible for what they covered up for years. I know there are several class action suits to follow for Bayer… at a time they are pushing back on EU pesticide bans.

  4. John Lopez August 11, 2018 at 04:35 - Reply

    OMG!!!!! This is amazing and wonderful!!! That family deserves MILLIONS!!!! Bring down Monsanto the evil empire asap!

  5. Pamela Logan August 11, 2018 at 04:39 - Reply

    This man definitely deserves a bone marrow transplant. I am a healthy woman and would gladly be a donor, but the medical community has decided that I am too old to donate. Maybe an executive at Monsanto will come forward.

  6. Heidi Dunson August 11, 2018 at 05:24 - Reply

    Please somebody help Dewayne Johnson to realize that mainstream cancer care causes cancer and that they and the pharmaceutical industry are as deadly and corrupt as Monsanto. A rae, organic vegan diet, high dose vitamin C(intravenously if possible) CBD oil or marijuana products can heal cancer! There are many other ways to help his body to heal, chemotherapy, radiation cannot heal anything, they simply destroy everything and cause more cancer to reappear. This is why cancer patients almost always have cancer magically return and often in different places, oncology is a very lucrative profession!. Praying for him! Watch “The Truth About Cancer” series and research natural remedies, he could be ok if he gets away from the poison industry. Vaccines are deadly as well and also contain glyphosate.

  7. Beverly August 11, 2018 at 05:31 - Reply

    My daughter bought her house in 2008 and started to use roundup on all the weeds. Over time she became ill, thinking it was caused by a failed disc replacement, when actually it may be caused by the continueous use of roundup. I cautioned her about pesticide use. She was not concerned, because her husband worked for a city government caring for plants and trees and tbey recommened it as safe. Her health is now so bad, that she doesn’t garden.She has. Many health issues, but hasnt been cbecked for pesticide poisoning.

  8. a August 11, 2018 at 06:01 - Reply

    All for profit Bayer/Monsanto/BASF/Syngenta/Dow/Dupont, in the Billions$ folks, and we die every day! It’s time for paradigm WOKE-NOW!

  9. Christine August 11, 2018 at 06:22 - Reply

    Just wish Mr. Johnson GOOD HEALTH back again! One can’t enjoy money without having good health…Since Mr. Johnson has to deal with cancer, hopefully he will overcome the second run in his life, the fraud of ALL official cancer treatments, in particular chemo and radiation! Hope a lot, Mr. Johnson will use his money in that respect wisely, and use his current fame to spread even more truth!

  10. a August 11, 2018 at 14:00 - Reply

    I know a neighbor who has had stage 4 cancer for over ten years and is surviving on ALL PRODUCTS MARIJUANA-teas, oils, eating it raw, smoking, etc., etc. True Story!

  11. Shane August 11, 2018 at 14:41 - Reply

    The award level is ridiculous. That number is meaningless to most people. The legal system is ridiculous in that Monsanto should pay a more reasonable amount, maybe 5M, with the rest as a fine, taken by the state. Also, individuals should be prosecuted for reckless endangerment or some such, with some of them locked up.

  12. Mark E. Smith August 11, 2018 at 16:56 - Reply

    Why do people seem to feel that Monsanto won’t appeal, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary? Aren’t there enough former Monsanto executives are on the Supreme Court to ensure that the corporation never pays Johnson a dime?

  13. Laurel E Zollars August 13, 2018 at 20:12 - Reply

    I’m glad Monsanto is being sued. I hope they will be forced out of business. What is disturbing to me is the Trump administration is allowing companies that produce genetically modified products to evade disclosure.

    Trump administration being sued for blocking GMO labelling. Article on ecowatch.

    Genetic literacy says Trump is letting down American farmers with GMO stand.

    Trump administration allows 1 in 6 GMO companies to evade disclosure.

    I voted for Trump but I won’t vote for a president who supports GMO foods. I hope all of you will take the opportunity to email the Trump white house and let the president know what you think about being poisoned by companies like Monsanto.

    Google ” Contact the white house” and let the president know what you think about his pro GMO policy.

  14. Jack Armstead August 15, 2018 at 01:45 - Reply

    It is very unfortunate that Monsanto felt compelled to lie for years about their proprietary weed-killing formula. The real question is this: What took the American Public this long to unravel what shouldn’t have been a mystery in the first place? If this toxic Glyphosate killed weeds so reliably, what was the huge leap to reason that it wouldn’t kill humans who were in contact with it?

    The other people commenting on this article are correct about the medical properties of cannabis. This is the next frontier for justice for all Americans. I know a guy who’s been helping people with all kinds of cancer for the last 5.5 years. He helped a guy I worked with. It is was amazingly easy for this guy to use a combination of minerals and extracted oil from cannabis. He was given a few months to live (pancreatic cancer) and he was cancer-free in 91 days. His own doctors couldn’t believe it.

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