Analyzing the impact of the $2 billion verdict against Monsanto’s Roundup
In September 2018, we assessed the impact of the headline-grabbing $289 million verdict delivered by a San Francisco jury in DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company. Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, alleged that his occupational use of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We predicted that the verdict would lead to more glyphosate lawsuits and an increased focus on toxic torts, but concluded that this result would not make glyphosates the next asbestos.
As expected, the Johnson verdict was reduced to $78 million by a trial court and is now on appeal. But in the meantime, Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG, was hit first with an $80 million judgment in federal court in the Northern District of California in Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, and then, more recently, with an eye-popping $2 billion verdict from the Alameda County Superior Court in Alva and Alberta Pilliod v. Monsanto Company. So the $2 billion question is, what does this mean for the future of glyphosate litigation and toxic torts in general?
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