Monsanto, a unit of Bayer, has been facing a variety of lawsuits regarding the health impacts of its products across markets. The company got seriously hit by a previous verdict when it was asked to pay the damages of $250 Million for being responsible for terminal cancer in a consumer. Now, in yet another ruling on same issue, a judge has affirmed the action against Monsanto. However, she added that the punitive damages can be brought down to $39 Million provided that the victim agrees to the decision. Monsanto has been denying the claims by the user and demanding a re-trial.
The problem started when Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Upon investigation, it was found that the products from Monsanto — namely RoundUp and Ranger Pro — had caused the issue, up to the point that seriously carcinogenic components were present in the chemicals used for killing weeds on the ground. The problem was that Monsanto had not warned the customers about this potential risk or the fact that the production of both these weed-killers consisted of the use of glyphosate — which is a chemical known to pose the risk of cancer.
Despite the huge number of lawsuits filed against Monsanto, this is the first instance where the company is being asked to pay such a huge sum in terms of damages. Even now, Monsanto and the parent-company claims that glyphosate is scientifically proven to be harmless to the human beings and that the company is not responsible for what happened to Dewayne Johnson. Now, however, as per the judgement, Monsanto will have to pay an amount of $78 Million to the plaintiff. Lawyers for Dewayne Johnson said that they are still reviewing whether to accept the minimized damages or not.