“Lesions on 80% of his body”
| Jurors award $289 mil. to a man they believe got cancer from Monsanto’s Roundup
| CNN – In a monumental case against agricultural giant Monsanto, a jury has awarded $289 million in damages to a former school groundskeeper who said he got terminal cancer from the weedkiller Roundup.
Dewayne Johnson was seeking about $400 million in punitive damages and $39 million in compensatory damages from Monsanto, his attorney Timothy Litzenburg said.
Johnson’s victory Friday could set a massive precedent for thousands of other cases against Monsanto.
Johnson was the first of hundreds of cancer patients to take the company to court over its popular weedkiller, Roundup.
CNN reported last year that more than 800 patients were suing Monsanto, claiming Roundup gave them non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Since then, hundreds more plaintiffs — including cancer patients, their spouses or their estates — have also sued the agricultural giant, making similar claims.
Johnson’s case was the first to go to trial because in court filings, doctors said he was near death. And in California, dying plaintiffs can be granted expedited trials.
Lesions on 80% of his body
Johnson, 46, applied Roundup weedkiller 20 to 30 times per year while working as a groundskeeper for a school district near San Francisco, his attorneys said.
He testified that during his work, he had two accidents in which he was doused with the product. The first accident happened in 2012.
Two years later, in 2014, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
On bad days, Johnson is too crippled to speak. Lesions have covered as much as 80% of his body.
Johnson had lesions on most of his body, a doctor said.
Litzenburg said the most heartbreaking part of Johnson’s testimony was when the father of two described telling his sons that he had terminal cancer.
Johnson’s wife now works two 40-hour-per-week jobs to support the family, Litzenburg said.