A California appeals court has ruled that Bayer and its Monsanto subsidiary should be required pay $20.4 million in damages to California groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson, who alleged in a 2018 lawsuit that exposure to Roundup caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The appellate court reduced the original damage award but altogether rejected Monsanto’s attempt to completely reverse the lower court’s decision in favor of the plaintiff. The decision marks yet another failure for the makers of Roundup, who have attempted to avoid compensating former Roundup users who were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after years of exposure to the weed killer. If you or someone you know has suffered a potential Roundup side effect like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, do not hesitate to seek legal help. Contact a knowledgeable Roundup cancer attorney right away to discuss your legal options.
DeWayne Johnson’s lawsuit was the first Roundup lawsuit to go to trial in the United States, and the California Superior Court jury initially awarded Johnson a whopping $289 million in damages for the injuries he suffered allegedly as a result of using Roundup for years while working for a local school district. The jury found that Roundup substantially contributed to Johnson’s terminal cancer and awarded him $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages, which were later reduced to $78.5 million. On July 20, the California appeals court denied Monsanto’s request for a new trial on the condition that Johnson accept a further reduced settlement of $10.2 million in compensatory damages and $10.2 million in punitive damages, for a total damages award of $20.4 million. “Although we have concluded that a reduction in the damages awarded is appropriate, we do not otherwise reverse the judgement,” the panel of judges stated.
Since the verdict was handed down in DeWayne Johnson’s Roundup case, Bayer has been seeking to overturn the lower court’s decision, arguing that Roundup is safe and does not put users at risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, following a string of substantial losses at trial, Bayer eventually announced a Roundup settlement agreement last month.
In a June 24 news release, Bayer revealed that it would pay more than $10 billion to resolve about two-thirds of the roughly 125,000 Roundup lawsuits currently pending against the company, all of which involve similar allegations that the widely used weed killer causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, the company admits no wrongdoing, claiming that scientific research and regulatory approvals show that glyphosate is safe for use as directed. Despite these claims, there is a growing body of evidence that shows that Roundup can cause cancer in users, more specifically, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that originates in the lymphatic system. According to nearly two decades of research, the Roundup cancer risk is linked to the weed killer’s active ingredient, glyphosate, which was classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.
As former Roundup users continue to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the years to come, Bayer and Monsanto are expected to face years of future litigation over the companies’ failure to adequately warn about the potential risk of cancer from glyphosate. And the appellate court’s recent decision in Johnson’s case will likely result in increased pressure on the companies to negotiate settlements in new Roundup cases and those that remain unresolved. “In our view, Johnson presented abundant – and certainly substantial – evidence that glyphosate, together with the other ingredients in Roundup products, caused his cancer,” the judges said in their ruling this week. “Expert after expert provided evidence both that Roundup products are capable of causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and caused Johnson’s cancer in particular.”
Despite Monsanto and Bayer’s claims that Roundup is safe, study after study has identified a potential risk of cancer associated with exposure to glyphosate. In one study, a group of scientists from UC Berkeley, the University of Washington and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York analyzed the results of six studies involving more than 65,000 people and found that people with the highest exposure to glyphosate had a 41% higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If you routinely used Roundup at work or at home and you have since been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you may have grounds to file a Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto and Bayer to recover damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and more. Consult an experienced Roundup cancer lawyer as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible for compensation.