Judge Considers Letting Monsanto Off the Hook for ‘Cancer-Causing’ Weedkiller

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(CD— Studying that a decide might overturn their historic decision to carry the chemical firm Monsanto-Bayer accountable for manufacturing cancer-causing weedkillers, a number of jurors are demanding that their verdict in a case determined in August be upheld.

Gary Kitahata and Robert Howard are among the many jurors who unanimously discovered that Monsanto was chargeable for $289 million in damages, to be paid to former faculty groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who was identified with terminal most cancers after spending years utilizing Monsanto’s merchandise at his job.

In two separate letters written in current days, Kitahata and Howard appealed to California Superior Court docket Choose Suzanne Bolanos this week after she introduced her consideration of a retrial and indicated she may overturn almost the entire damages the jury awarded to Johnson.

Whereas Bolanos argued the plaintiff’s authorized crew didn’t show Monsanto knew in regards to the risks of its product, Kitihata told the the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday that the decide “had an opportunity to boost these questions throughout trial and even throughout jury deliberations. I believed it was the jury’s function to be the decide of proof.”

Kitihata and the opposite jurors discovered that Monsanto owed $250 million to Johnson in punitive damages in addition to $31 million for shortening his life expectancy. Bolanos stated in a public listening to final Wednesday that she might overturn each sums, leaving Johnson with $eight million. The decide is predicted to succeed in a choice by subsequent Monday.

In an announcement to Widespread Goals, Katherine Paul, U.S. nationwide director for the Natural Shoppers Union, denounced the decide’s consideration of a severely decreased verdict for Monsanto’s profit.

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“It’s unlucky that the courtroom is prepared to think about overturning the decision of 12 jurors who fastidiously and thoughtfully made their determination based mostly on factual proof,” Paul stated. “We hope the decide on this case is not going to be pressured by Monsanto-Bayer, however will as a substitute respect the jury’s determination and rule in favor of public well being, not company earnings.”

After a six-week trial involving testimony from medical and scientific specialists, the jury discovered that Monsanto had bought glyphosate-based merchandise to Johnson’s faculty district though it knew the chemical might trigger most cancers.

“Chances are you’ll not have been satisfied by the proof, however we had been,” Kitahata wrote to Bolanos in his letter. “I urge you to respect and honor our verdict and the six weeks of our lives that we devoted to this trial.”

The chance that the jury’s “unanimous verdict might be summarily overturned demeans our system of justice and shakes my confidence in that system,” wrote Howard in his personal letter.

Glyphosate was labeled by the World Well being Group as a “in all probability human carcinogen” in 2015, the identical yr Johnson as identified with an aggressive type of most cancers and a yr after a earlier prognosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Johnson’s case was simply the primary to go to trial out of extra four,000 lawsuits in opposition to the corporate, with plaintiffs throughout the nation arguing Monsanto’s merchandise contributed considerably to their most cancers diagnoses.