October 22, 2020 — The California Supreme Court refused to review the Roundup trial entitled Johnson vs. Monsanto. Bayer lost the trial to Dewayne “Lee” Johnson and his attorneys. A unanimous jury found in August 2018 that Johnson’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was attributed to his use of Roundup.
So far, Bayer has had three trials relating to the Roundup litigation and has lost all three. Juries in the three trials have found that not only does Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weed killers cause cancer, but Monsanto spent years actively covering the risk.
In Johnson vs. Monsanto, the jury found that Monsanto was liable for Johnson’s cancer and that Monsanto acted to blatantly hide the risks associated with Roundup. The jury wanted Bayer to pay Johnson $250 million in punitive damages on top of $39 million in past and future compensatory damages. After an appeal from Monsanto, the trial judge reduced the total of $289 million to $78 million. An appeals court then further reduced the total to $20.5 million.
Though the appeals court found “abundant” evidence that glyphosate, together with the other ingredients in Roundup, caused Johnson’s cancer, the court made the decision to reduce the award by citing that Johnson was expected to live only a short time. Even so, the appeals court stated that “there was overwhelming evidence that Johnson has suffered, and will continue to suffer for the rest of his life, significant pain and suffering.”
Monsanto and Johnson both petitioned the California Supreme Court for review, but the Court denied the case. Monsanto wished to overturn the trial judgment and Johnson wished for a restoration of a higher award.
Reference: “Monsanto Roundup & Dicamba Trial Tracker.” U.S. Right to Know, 2 June 2020, https://usrtk.org/monsanto-roundup-trial-tracker-index/.