Man wins £226000000 in compensation after weedkiller caused terminal cancer


A California jury has ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay almost $290 million for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that its weed killer Roundup might cause cancer.

Jurors on Friday unanimously found that Monsanto acted with malice and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed "substantially" to Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness.

Dewayne Johnson's attorney, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., says the San Francisco verdict should bolster the chances of the other lawsuits.

He was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - a cancer that starts in the white blood cells - in August 2014, having previously sprayed hundreds of gallons of Roundup.

Mr Partridge said that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews and conclusions by regulators in the United States and around the world "support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer".

Roundup is widely available in British garden centres and is thought to be the most commonly used weedkiller in the world.

"This verdict proves that when ordinary citizens, in this case a jury of 12, hear the facts about Monsanto's products, and the lengths to which this company has gone to buy off scientists, deceive the public and influence government regulatory agencies, there is no confusion", said Ronnie Cummins, OCA's worldwide director.

Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson reacts after hearing the verdict in his case against Monsanto at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018.

"This is a company that has always put profits ahead of public safety, and today, Monsanto has finally been held accountable", he added.

He confirmed the company will appeal the decision "and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others".

"This should send a strong message to the boardroom of Monsanto", Kennedy added. Johnson's doctors said he is unlikely to live past 2020.

Johnson's lawyers sought and won 39 million dollars (£30 million) in compensatory damages and 250 million dollars (£196 million) of the 373 million dollars (£292 million) they wanted in punitive damages.

Johnson read the label and even contacted the company after developing a rash but was never warned it could cause cancer, Wisner said.

Johnson's team expressed confidence in the verdict, saying the judge in the case had kept out a mountain of more evidence backing their position.

"This case is way bigger than me", Johnson said during a press conference in his lawyers' San Francisco office after the verdict.

In one instance a hose broke and the weed killer soaked his entire body. "It's just a matter of time", Mr Wisner told the jury in his opening statement last month.

The US Environmental Protection Agency says Roundup's active ingredient is safe for people when used in accordance with label directions.

It came after the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, said in 2015 that glyphosate was a "probable human carcinogen".