The Latest: Monsanto weed killer legal battle to last years

weed killer

With the value of its stock dropping and more lawsuits expected, Monsanto’s parent company says it will press on with its nationwide legal defense of its best-selling weed killer Roundup.

On Monday, San Francisco Judge Suzanne Bolanos upheld a verdict saying it causes cancer. But she cut the jury’s award to $78 million.

Legal experts said the decision will have little value in courtrooms across the country where similar cases are pending, but it will likely lead to more lawsuits. Similar lawsuits doubled from 4,000 to 8,000 after a San Francisco jury awarded DeWayne Johnson $389 million in August.

It’s the first lawsuit of its kind to go to trial and legal experts said Monsanto is unlikely to settle any of them until a significant number of adverse verdicts pile up across the country. That will take years, they say.

A Northern California judge has upheld a jury’s verdict finding Monsanto’s weed killer caused a groundskeeper’s cancer, but she slashed his $287 million award to $78 million.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos ruled Monday

A San Francisco jury’s August verdict included $250 million in punitive damages, which the judge said was too high. She reduced the punitive damages to $39 million, matching the jury’s underlying damage award.

Jurors found Monsanto purposely ignored warnings and evidence that its popular Roundup product caused DeWayne Johnson’s lymphoma.

In a tentative ruling on Oct. 11, Bolanos said she was considering wiping out the punitive damage award because there appeared to be no evidence presented at trial that Monsanto employees ignored evidence that the weed killer caused cancer.