Jury Awards Terminally Ill Man 289 Million Dollars in Damages In Lawsuit Against Monsanto

August 13, 2018

World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer Determined in 2015 that the Key Ingredient in Roundup is Carcinogenic to Humans

David Dickens, Lead Trial Attorney, The Miller Firm

(San Francisco, CA, Monday, August 13, 2018) – Dewayne “Lee” Johnson became the first to sue Monsanto after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer determined in 2015 that the key ingredient in Roundup is carcinogenic to humans.

  • Johnson sprayed 150 gallons of Roundup between 20 and 30 times a year as a groundskeeper for the school district in Benicia, just northeast of San Francisco. After 26 months of spraying the product, he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is terminal at this point, which led to his statutory right to an expedited trial in California State Court.
  • The case is significant in part because the judge has allowed Johnson’s lawyers to present scientific arguments. The suit centers on glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974, presenting it as a technological breakthrough that could kill almost every weed without harming humans or the environment.
  • With the court ruling in favor of Johnson, it’s expected that the suit, which he filed in 2016, could open the floodgates for many more similar suits against the biotech giant. The Miller Firm in Orange, Virginia represents 2,000 plaintiffs with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and they expect to take this case to a jury more times in the coming years.

In the nearly 20 years of intensifying exposure, scientists have been documenting the health consequences of Roundup and glyphosate in our food, water and air. They’ve found that people who are sick have higher levels of glyphosate in their bodies than healthy people. Monsanto has marketed Roundup to parks departments and consumers as “biodegradable” and “environmentally friendly,” to also encourage its use it on playgrounds, golf courses, lawns, and home gardens.

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