CMBG3 Law previously reported on the start of the first trial in the country in which allegations that glysophate in Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers cause cancer are being presented to the jury. CMBG3’s Matt Lite has brought you the latest from this groundbreaking trial.  

The landmark California case concluded on Friday after thee days of deliberations in which a 12-member jury found that Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killing products were unsafe and the primary cause of plaintiff DeWayne Johnson’s rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury also found that Monsanto had failed to properly warn customers of the risks associated with using the products and that the company acted with malice, oppression or fraud.

The San Francisco jury, made up of five women and seven men, awarded Johnson $39.25 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in putative damages. The compensatory aspect included $2.25 million in economic loss and $37 million in noneconomic damages, one million for every year of plaintiff’s life lost due to cancer.

The verdict marks the end of a month-long trial in which for the first time Monsanto defended their products in front of a jury. Johnson originally filed the lawsuit in 2016 over claims that Monsanto knew about the hazards associated with the weed killer since the 1990s.  Over the course of the four-week trial, jurors heard testimony from statisticians, doctors, public health researchers and epidemiologists who disagreed on whether the product can cause cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September 2017 concluded a decades long assessment of glyphosate hazards and found the chemical is not likely carcinogenic to humans. However, in 2015 the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

The Monsanto products are at the center of hundreds of lawsuits gearing up for trial in the multidistrict litigation consolidated before a California federal court. Only a few weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said there’s “rather weak” evidence the ingredient causes cancer, but the opinions of three experts linking glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were not “junk science.” 

CMBG3 Law LLC has represented clients in products liability matters, especially with respect to allegedly toxic chemicals. We provide the most current legal advice to our clients by staying on top of developments in science, medicine, and regulations regarding a wide variety of substances and products used by consumers every day. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Matt Lite (email him or 617-279-8207) or John Gardella (email him or 617-279-8225).