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Jury orders Monsanto to pay $290M in Roundup trial

NBC News logo NBC News 8/10/2018 Daniel Arkin

A San Francisco jury has found in favor of a school groundskeeper dying of cancer whose lawyers argued that a weed killer made by the agribusiness giant Monsanto likely caused his disease.

Dewayne Johnson was awarded nearly $290 million in punitive damages and another $39 million in compensatory damages.

Johnson's lawsuit against Monsanto was the first case to go to trial in a string of legal complaints alleging the glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

He sprayed Roundup and another Monsanto product, Ranger Pro, as part of his job as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district, his attorneys have said.

He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014, when he was 42.

Monsanto, for its part, vehemently denies a link between Roundup and cancer.

But jurors at San Francisco's Superior Court of California, who deliberated for three days, found that the corporation failed to warn Johnson and other consumers about the risks posed by its weed-killing products.

The outcome of the trial will not have a direct affect on the slew of other Roundup-related suits in state and federal courts. But it could serve as a bellwether for other cases in the queue.

Image: First U.S. trial on possible carcinogenic effects of RoundUp, Monsanto's controversial herbicidePlaintiff DeWayne Johnson walks towards the courtroom during a brief break as the Monsanto trial continues in San Francisco on July 09, 2018.© Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC DeWayne Johnson


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