easttexasmatters.com - 10-23
SAN FRANCISCO, California (KGO-TV) - In August, a jury found the use of Bayer Monsanto's glyphosate-based weed killers, Roundup and Ranger Pro, caused cancer in Dewayne Johnson. The jury awarded a school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289.2 million in August. The original verdict sent German conglomerate Bayer stocks tumbling. Monday they fell a further 8% on the news that San Francisco's Superior Court of California upheld the company's liability, according to Fortune.com. Bayer Monsanto is pushing for a retrial. Michael Miller, Johnson's attorney, said in court that Monsanto dismissed 27 potential jurors on grounds they appeared biased against the company and ended up with a jury "free from passion, free from prejudice." Only after the jurors issued a verdict against the company, Miller argued, did Monsanto say a miscarriage of justice had taken place, according to The Wall Street Journal. San Francisco Judge Suzanne Bolanos filed a tentative ruling in favor of Monsanto's motion for what's called a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and motioned for a new trial. After arguments from both sides, Tuesday, Judge Bolanos conditionally denied Monsanto's motion for a new trial. Bolanos is leaving it up to plaintiff Dewayne Johnson. Judge Bolanos says the punitive damages must be reduced to the maximum allowed by due process in this case, approximately $39 million, which is also the amount of compensatory damages the jury awarded Johnson. If Johnson agrees, Monsanto's motion for a new trial will be denied. Johnson has until Friday, December 7 to make his decision. Otherwise, Monsanto's motion for a new trial will be granted as to the punitive damages only.