Jury Awards $289 Million in Roundup Cancer Trial

A California jury has awarded $289 million to a man who claimed that the popular weedkiller Roundup, a Monsanto product, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). After the decision was announced, the stock of Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, fell by more than 10 percent in one day.

The company will pay damages to Dewayne Johnson, a groundskeeper who used Roundup 20 to 30 times each year between 2012 and 2016. He claimed that his repeated exposure to the product caused him to develop NHL, and also that Monsanto misled him about the weedkiller’s link to cancer – causing him to continue using the product without knowledge of associated risks.

Roundup contains an herbicide called glyphosate, which has been linked to cancer in humans. In 2015, the World Health Organization stated that the herbicide is likely carcinogenic; Monsanto and other agricultural companies say that research does not support this claim, citing more than 800 studies of the relationship between glyphosate and cancer.

The victim’s law firm says it is representing thousands of other individuals in similar claims against Bayer’s Monsanto. While the court battles continue, the pharmaceutical giant, which also produces naproxen and aspirin, has plans to rebrand its Monsanto products.

Source: The Washington Post, August 13, 2018.