Monsanto Co. says it will appeal a $289 million verdict a San Francisco jury ordered it to pay a former groundskeeper who claimed the company's weed killer contributed to his terminal cancer.
Company spokesman Scott Partridge said Friday that Monsanto sympathizes with Dewayne Johnson and his family. But Partridge said hundreds of scientific studies and government agencies have concluded that its Roundup weed killer doesn't cause cancer.
The St. Louis-based company is facing about 2,000 similar lawsuits across the country. Dewayne Johnson's attorney, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., says the San Francisco verdict should bolster the chances of the other lawsuits.
A San Francisco jury has awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who claimed Monsanto's popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his terminal cancer.
In its decision Friday, the state court jury found the agribusiness giant failed to adequately warn of the risks of using Roundup.
Dewayne Johnson's lawyers said he sprayed Roundup and a similar product, Ranger Pro, in large quantities as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district. He developed a rash and was 42 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014.
Monsanto's lawyer, George Lombardi, said non-Hodgkin's lymphoma takes years to develop, so Johnson's cancer must have started before he worked for the district.
The company has denied ties between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, and cancer.
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