'A California judge signaled Wednesday she would overturn a $250 million punitive damages award against Monsanto finding the agrochemical company knew its popular Roundup weed killer causes cancer but deliberately failed to tell a school groundskeeper dying of lymphoma.
Superior Court Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos appeared skeptical in an afternoon hearing that there was sufficient evidence Monsanto acted with oppression or malice by not warning groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson of the risks of spraying Roundup, a requirement for awarding punitive damages.
Becoming increasingly frustrated with arguments by Johnson’s trial team, including one by Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman attorney Brent Wisner rejecting blame for purportedly manipulating the jury into awarding punitive damages, Bolanos indicated she planned to affirm a tentative ruling issued before the hearing vacating the punitive damages award based on insufficient evidence.
In the written ruling, Bolanos said she would grant Bayer-owned Monsanto a new trial on punitive damages if she were to ultimately deny the company’s motion to vacate the punitive damages award.
“Bayer agrees with the court’s tentative ruling,” Bayer said in an emailed statement. “The jury’s verdict was wholly at odds with over 40 years of real-world use, an extensive body of scientific data and analysis, including in-depth reviews by regulatory authorities in the U.S. and EU, and approvals in 160 countries, which support the conclusion that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe when used as directed and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.”'
Read more: In Blow to Cancer Victim, Judge May Overturn Historic $250 Million Monsanto Roundup Verdict
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