Last month, we applauded the hard work of Aimee Wagstaff, who serves as co-lead counsel of the national Monsanto Roundup litigation, on the ruling by Judge Chhabria denying Monsanto’s requests to dismiss its Roundup weedkiller cancer cases. Now, we’re cheering again for the plaintiffs’ team, which had another big victory this past weekend. A jury at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco ruled that the Roundup herbicide gave a former school groundskeeper terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The jurors awarded Dewayne Johnson $250 million in punitive damages and about $39 million in compensatory damages. While compensatory damages cover expenses related to a person’s injury, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for particularly harmful behavior. The victory could set a precedent for thousands of other lawsuits against Monsanto claiming that Roundup exposure caused people to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“The jury paid attention throughout this long trial and clearly understood the science and also understood Monsanto’s role in trying to hide the truth,” said Wagstaff.
The $289 million award is bittersweet. While it means justice for Johnson and the first victory for those who have brought lawsuits against Monsanto, people all over the country are still suffering from this blood-borne cancer as a result of the company’s negligence.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).