Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Cancer from Roundup weedkiller herbicides)
On August 10, 2018, a California jury found that Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides contributed to a retired school groundskeeper’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and ordered the agribusiness and chemical conglomerate to pay $289 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a landmark lawsuit. After three days of deliberation, the twelve member jury unanimously found that the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular herbicides, glyphosate, was a substantial factor in causing harm to DeWayne “Lee” Johnson, that Monsanto had failed to adequately warn its customers of the risks associated with its Roundup and Ranger Pro products, and that the agricultural giant acted with malice and oppression. However, a judge reduced the verdict to $78.5 million on October 22, 2018 by slashing the punitive damages award to a 1:1 ratio.
The jury had previously awarded $39.25 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages, which included $37 million in non-economic damages (one million dollars for every year that the 46 year-old Johnson will lose to his cancer). Johnson alleged that he sprayed 150 gallons of Ranger Pro herbicide per day on athletic fields at five school campuses, 20-30 day per year, during the course of his career as a groundskeeper at a Bay Area school district. An accident in 2013 left Johnson drenched in the herbicide and he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma a couple of years later. Johnson testified that in the course of his work for the school district, he attended a pesticide certification course where he was told that Ranger Pro was safe enough to drink. After a second workplace accident left him drenched in the herbicide again, Johnson made repeated calls to Monsanto to find out if their herbicides were detrimental to his health, but no one at the company ever returned his calls.
During the trial, Johnson’s experts at trial, which included a world renowned oncologist, toxicologist, and a former NIH scientist, testified about the scientific links between glyphosate and lymphoma, which were detailed in a 2015 study conducted by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, the widely recognized arbiter of what constitutes a carcinogen in the medical and scientific communities that research cancer. Monsanto responded with its own experts that called into the question the findings of the IARC study, noting that regulators in the U.S. and Europe did not find that glysophate was carcinogenic. Ultimately, the jury sided with Johnson, marking the first win for plaintiffs in hundreds of cases that are consolidated in multi-district litigation pending in a California federal court which are being worked up for trial.
The Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer congratulates Johnson, and his legal team at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman and the Miller Firm, as well as the team of scientists and physicians they assembled to testify at trial. The Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer, which has over thirty-five years litigating toxic exposure cases in California and defective pharmaceutical cases nationwide, is currently reviewing and accepting Roundup and Ranger Pro cases. Our firm routinely partners with law firms across the country to take on corporate giants whose products pose a danger to consumers.
Call us today for a free legal consultation or click HERE for a free evaluation of your case if you or a loved one was injured by herbicides manufactured and sold by Monsanto, including their best-selling Roundup and Ranger Pro products.
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