RoundUp Weed Killer is the top-selling weedkiller in the world. It is also one of the most controversial, as its main ingredient, glyphosate, has been called carcinogenic by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Though the product’s manufacturer, Monsanto, has argued against this action internationally and nationally, a group of jurors in San Francisco has agreed with that determination and has awarded a former school groundskeeper diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma an award of $289 million.
Dewayne Johnson is just one of more than 800 cancer patients whose lawsuits accuse Roundup of causing their cancer, but his trial was moved ahead of all others because his death is considered imminent.
In Mr. Johnson’s case, the impact of Roundup Weed Killer has been so severe that there questions as to whether he would live long enough to see his trial. His two sons are dealing with the fact that they will lose their father soon.
The jury’s verdict was broken down into $39 million in compensatory damages to pay for the expenses and losses that he suffered and another $250 million in punitive damages meant to punish the company for its negligence.
Though Monsanto is arguing that its product does not cause cancer, they have not yet indicated whether they plan an appeal. One reason may be that in doing so, they would be required to pay interest on the damages while the legal matter works its way through the court, amounting to roughly $25 million per year.
In the meantime, thousands of other victims are claiming similar injuries and have lawsuits pending against Monsanto and Roundup.