SAN FRANCISCO, CA
A jury, on Friday, awarded a $289 million judgement to a former school groundskeeper who said the weed killing product “Roundup” was the cause of his terminal cancer.
CNN (@cnn) reported, the plaintiff in the case, 46-year old, Dewayne Johnson is the first of more than 800 plaintiffs suing Roundup and its parent company, Monsato. Johnson’s case was first to go to trial because of his terminal diagnosis. In California, dying patients can be granted expedited trials. Johnson was awarded $250 million in punitive damages, and another $39 milli in compensatory damages.
Monsanto said they stand by research that says their product, Roundup, does not cause cancer.
“We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others.” Monsanto Vice President, Scott Partridge said.
Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2014. Johnson said he used the weed killer around 20-30 times per year. Johnson says he had two accidents when he got soaked with the product. The first incident happened in 2012. Johnson currently has lesions that cover over 80% of his body. “On bad days he’s too crippled to even speak.” Said Johnson’s lawyer, Timothy Litzenburg. Litzenburg said that while the money won’t help Johnson live any longer, it will help put his mind at ease. Johnson’s wife currently works two full-time jobs to make ends meet because of Johnson’s condition.
He’s going to live the rest of that time in comfort.” Litzenburg said.