Monsanto was found guilty of causing cancer in a California gardener by using the herbicide Roundup. The Court ruled that the company - today in the hands of Bayer - "acted with malice", knew of the damages of the Roundup and Ranger Pro and "did not warn". In this way, he ordered that they pay him the figure of $ 289 million in compensation. The ruling may cause a wave of 450 more trials to be processed in that California state court, and another 4000 more throughout the United States.
“Monsanto acted maliciously. He knew about the damage to the Roundup and Ranger Pro and did not warn. With these words, the California state jury agreed with Dewayne Johnson, a terminally ill cancer farmer who brought glyphosate to trial for the first time, accusing it of causing cancer. In this way, Monsanto was ordered to pay $ 289 million in damages.
Monsanto has denied any connection between cancer and glyphosate for years, and has even manipulated scientific reports to prove otherwise. But this Friday, after three days of deliberations and all kinds of evidence, a jury from San Francisco, USA, in a historic ruling condemned the company for hiding information. Nothing less than to hide that the Round Up is carcinogenic.
The jury found that the company acted with "malice" and that its Roundup herbicide, and its professional version RagenrPro, contributed "substantially" to Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness.
The verdict was read by Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolaños and closely followed by plaintiff Dewayne Johnson, who is suffering from cancer of the lymphatic system (Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma), his attorneys and the attorneys for the defendant Monsanto.
After an eight-week trial in court, the jury delivered its verdict and ultimately sentenced the company to pay 250 million in punitive damages plus compensatory and other costs, bringing the total to nearly 290 million dollars.
On June 18 of this year, Johnson, a 46-year-old school gardener, became the first person to bring the giant seed and chemical corporation to trial, accusing it of hiding, for decades, the carcinogenic dangers of Roundup. And now he becomes the first to win a lawsuit against Monsanto, currently a business unit of Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE) after the acquisition by the German conglomerate, for $ 62.5 billion.
Johnson's case, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court in California, is the witness case in a legal fight against Monsanto. Some 4,000 more plaintiffs allege that exposure to Monsanto's Roundup caused them and / or their families symptoms similar to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In Monsanto's hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, another similar lawsuit is expected to go to trial next October.
This verdict presupposes an even greater cataract of judgments and provides a present for future verdicts
The lawsuits, like this case, challenge Monsanto's claim that its herbicides are safe and claim that the company has known about the dangers of them and has hidden them from regulators and consumers.
The litigants cited a variety of research studies indicating that the active ingredient in Monsanto's herbicides, the chemical glyphosate, can cause NHL cancer and other diseases. They also cited research showing that glyphosate formulations, present in their final commercial products, are more toxic than glyphosate alone. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015.
During the preparation and process of evidence of this trial and of these lawsuits that now await their turn in court, thousands and thousands of documents, obtained by the access to information law, were collected by different lawyers. In March 2017, these documents, known as the Monsanto Papers, were made available to the public by the US.RTK organization, as well as articles on the analysis of those documents published in the press around the world. Lavaca.org through the special site monsantopapers.lavaca.org, a collaborative journalistic project, disseminates in Spanish these documents and the journalistic investigations derived uninterruptedly since November 2017, aware of what the right to health and wellness represents. access to information. Currently, the vast majority of journalistic coverage that manages to overcome the great blockade and media shielding of the company is carried out in English and French, mainly, leaving out a large Spanish-speaking public from all over the world, which this initiative, available online, seeks to reach.
Reading the verdict:
By Anabel Pomar