Agribusiness company Monsanto is appealing a $78 million verdict in a case involving a California man who said the company’s Roundup product was a primary cause of his cancer.
Appeal lawyers in California filed on Monsanto’s behalf in San Francisco Superior Court, challenges the jury verdict in factor DeWayne Johnson. In a unanimous decision, the jury found that Monsanto’s Roundup caused Johnson’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury awarded him $289 million.
The jury award was reduced to $78 million last month by Judge Suzanne Bolanos. Bolanos rejected a request by Monsanto to toss the jury’s overall verdict against the company.
Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in June, maintains that the science presented in the case does not prove that Roundup was a substantial cause of Johnson’s cancer.
“We continue to believe that the liability verdict and reduced damage award are not supported by the evidence at trial or the law,” Bayer said in a statement.
Johnson, a former school groundskeeper in California, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. He says he repeatedly used Ranger Pro while working at a school in Benicia, California.
“None of the science presented at trial supports the conclusion that glyphosate or the Roundup formulation was a substantial cause of Mr. Johnson’s NHL,” Bayer said.
The company says it will publish summaries of its own studies on glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and Ranger Pro, next month.
Monsanto continues to defend its weed killer products, claiming that it has a history of safe use dating back over 40 years. The company cites hundreds of studies that claim glyphosate to be safe.
The agribusiness giant is facing thousands of lawsuits claiming glyphosate causes cancer. Government regulators say there is no link between glyphosate and cancer, despite thousands of lawsuits claiming otherwise. The World Health Organization says glyphosate is likely a carcinogen.