Glyphosate, Monsanto ordered to pay 289 million dollars to a cancer patient

A California jury has ordered Monsanto to pay 289 million dollars in damages to a gardener who contracted cancer after using glyphosate-based herbicides for over 30 years.

The story of a US gardener who contracted cancer after using herbicides Roundup and Ranger Pro, produced by agrochemical giant Monsanto, has a surprise ending: a California jury ordered the company (recently acquired by multinational Bayer) to pay the man the record figure of 289 million dollars in damages. The verdict was much awaited by other thousands of people who have been affected by the use of glyphosate-based herbicides.

Read also: How the Bayer-Monsanto mega-merger will transform global agriculture

The court of San Francisco against Monsanto

San Francisco’s Superior Court deliberated for three days to find that glyphosate contained in the company’s products Roundup and Ranger Pro contributed to cause Dewayne Johnson’s cancer. The 46-year-old man, who worked as a gardener in many public schools in California for over 30 years, got a cancer of the lymph system. Johnson’s lawyers affirmed that his illness was caused by the glyphosate-based weedkillers he used during the years of work. In the past, Johnson already had evident effects on his back and arms after spraying the herbicides in the school gardens up to 30 times a year. Now Monsanto has to pay 39 million dollars in compensatory and 250 million dollars in damages to the man who, according to doctors, is unlikely to live past 2020.

Read also: The human cost of agrotoxins. How glyphosate is killing Argentina

Other pending trials

The ruling in favour of Dewayne Johnson paves the way to thousands of similar lawsuits filed by people who contracted cancer after using Monsanto’s products. And the glyphosate-based herbicides Roundup and Ranger Pro are the most likely suspects. The Californian jury said that Monsanto “acted with malice, oppression or fraud and failed to adequately warn its users of the danger”. The layers for Monsanto-Bayer said they will appeal the verdict but, meanwhile, other 5,000 lawsuits have been given the green light to trial.

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