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California jury awards $332 million to man who blamed his cancer on use of Monsanto weedkiller


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SAN DIEGO (AP) — A California jury has awarded $332 million to a man who sued chemical giant Monsanto Co. contending that his cancer was related to decades of using its Roundup weedkiller.

A San Diego Superior Court jury awarded damages Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Mike Dennis, 57, of Carlsbad. He was diagnosed in 2020 with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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His lawsuit contended that his illness was related to Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate.

Dennis had treatment and has been in remission for nearly three years but there is no cure, Adam Peavy, one of his attorneys, told KNSD-TV.

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“His doctors have told him it’s going to come back and we’re just waiting to see if that happens,” Peavy said.

The jury found that Monsanto, which is now a division of pharmaceutical and biotechnology giant Bayer, failed to provide warnings of Roundup’s risks. But jurors also ruled partially in Bayer’s favor by finding the product design wasn’t defective and the company wasn’t negligent.

Dennis was awarded $7 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages.

In a statement to KNSD-TV, Bayer said it believes “we have strong arguments on appeal to get this unfounded verdict overturned and the unconstitutionally excessive damage award eliminated or reduced.”

“There were significant and reversible legal and evidentiary errors made during this trial,” Bayer added.

Bayer bought Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018 and has been trying to deal with thousands of claims and lawsuits related to Roundup. In 2020, Bayer announced it would pay up to $10.9 billion to settle some 125,000 filed and unfiled claims.

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financialpost.com