We thought we’d won.
Earlier this year, a jury ruled that Monsanto should pay $289 million in damages in the case of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a groundskeeper who’d used the company’s weedkiller, glyphosate.
Over the course of four years, Johnson sprayed high concentrations of the chemical 20 to 30 times a year, for two to three hours a day.
And guess what? He developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and sued the chemical giant.
The trial felt like a victory. A jury agreed – not only that the herbicide CAUSED the cancer, but that Monsanto was responsible and should pay up.
But Monsanto doesn’t take this sort of thing lying down.
After a bit of kicking and screaming, they’ve gotten a San Francisco judge to SLASH the amount of money due.
And now, after all he’s been through, Johnson has to decide whether to accept the revised amount… or spend the rest of his days in court.
This is just disgusting.
When Johnson got sick, he did the right thing by calling Monsanto directly.
Company officials refused to return his calls.
And that was, of course, just pouring salt in the wound… after providing weedkiller to the school Johnson worked for WITHOUT warning of the life-threatening dangers.
That’s why the jury found that Monsanto – which is now owned by Bayer — had “acted with malice.”
And that’s why they unanimously decided to hit the company where it hurts… and order it to pony up $289 million dollars.
Some of that was to compensate Johnson for financial loss and pain and suffering.
But MOST of it was to punish Monsanto for what it’s done.
Monsanto, of course, HAS the money.
But it’s refused to pay, instead appealing the jury’s decision.
And somehow, it’s gotten a judge in the San Francisco Superior Court in their pocket to reduce the punishment.
Thankfully, the judge didn’t overturn the ruling itself.
But she did chop the $250 million in damages down to a measly $39.25 million.
The jurors from the original trial BEGGED her not to. They were CONVINCED they were right in their ruling.
But someone had gotten to Madame Judge.
She claims that Monsanto “didn’t know” the product it was selling was dangerous. Monsanto still hasn’t admitted that it IS dangerous.
And now, what was largely a symbolic first step towards taking glyphosate’s maker down has become nothing more than a blip in its bank statement.
Now, $39.25 million is a lot for you and me.
But not to Monsanto. It doesn’t hurt them one bit.
It’s a mere slap on the wrist.
Yet the company has vowed to keep fighting. It wants the verdict reversed. And it doesn’t care who dies in the process.
While this case is tied up in the courts, Johnson likely won’t even have the chance to see his own payday. He’s not expected to live to the year 2020.
Monsanto plans to keep this tied up in the California Court of Appeal AT LEAST until then.
It won’t stop until it comes out of this smelling like a rose… and MORE people die.
Johnson only used the glyphosate-based product while working as a groundskeeper for FOUR YEARS, and his condition is terminal.
Imagine what’s happening to those who’ve used it for AGES.
And those of us who’ve been breathing it in and eating and drinking food and beverages that have been contaminated with it.
Don’t use Roundup (or the professional version that got Johnson sick). Buy organic whenever possible.
If you think glyphosate has put you or someone you love in danger, call Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis by dialing (314) 694-1000.