[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
86°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 21
1952 - 7.5-magnitude Kern County earthquake devastates Tehachapi; damage spread from San Diego to Las Vegas [story]
quake map


(CN) – A San Francisco jury on Friday found that Monsanto must pay $250 million in punitive damages to a school groundskeeper because its Roundup weed killer caused his fatal lymphoma, the first such verdict against the agrochemical giant.

The 12-member unanimous jury awarded plaintiff Dewayne Johnson $39.2 million compensatory damages, finding Monsanto chose not to warn him that Roundup can cause cancer.

In a statement issued after the verdict, Monsanto reiterated the safety of Roundup and denied it caused Johnson’s cancer.

“We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family. Today’s decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews – and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world – support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer. We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others.”

Johnson, 46, sued Monsanto in 2016 after he was diagnosed with mycosis fungoides, a skin-based non-Hodgkin lymphoma that caused cancerous lesions to form over most of his body.

He said he developed symptoms after he was twice drenched in Roundup and regularly had it drift into his face while spraying schoolyards for his job with the school district in Benicia, a suburb of San Francisco.

His lawyers argued during the four-week trial that Monsanto has known for decades that Roundup is carcinogenic. They told jurors Monsanto didn’t include a cancer warning label or instruct users to wear protective clothing for fear of disrupting its $6.6 billion global business.

Since Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate was declared a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed in the United states claiming Roundup causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Johnson’s case is the first to go to trial because he has less than two years to live. Friday’s verdict could presage future ones, 400 of which were recently cleared for trial in San Francisco federal court.

Monsanto insists Roundup is safe. At trial, it argued the herbicide could not have caused Johnson’s lymphoma because cancer takes at least 2.5 years to develop, and Johnson used Roundup for just one summer spraying season before developing symptoms the following fall.

The company instead suggested Johnson’s illness was inherited. Johnson contemporaneously developed squamous cell carcinoma, a skin cancer unrelated to mycosis fungoides and rarely found in African-Americans.

That, along with a greater prevalence of mycosis fungoides in the African-American population, prompted Monsanto to argue Johnson would have gotten cancer whether or not he used Roundup.

In a statement, Johnson’s attorney Brent Wisner of the firm Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman said Monsanto’s secrets came out at last.

“We were finally able to show the jury the secret, internal Monsanto documents proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer. Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to require labeling, we are proud that an independent jury followed the evidence and used its voice to send a message to Monsanto that its years of deception regarding Roundup is over and that they should put consumer safety first over profits,” Wisner said.

The science on a link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma remains murky. Some researchers say studies finding a link suffer from measurement errors and design flaws, overestimating the cancer risk. Others criticize studies finding no link for using statistical methods they say underestimate risk, and have accused regulators of ignoring guidelines for the evaluation of herbicides.

Monsanto says repeat studies and reviews by regulators around the world, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, found no evidence of a link and therefore no cancer risk warning is necessary.

Glyphosate is the most widely used agrichemical in history. Monsanto introduced it in 1974, and its use exploded in 1996 after the company began selling “Roundup-ready” seeds engineered to resist the herbicide. More than 2.6 billion pounds of the chemical were spread on U.S. farmlands and yards between 1992 and 2012, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In June, German pharmaceutical giant Bayer completed its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto after approval by U.S. and European regulators. Bayer told Reuters that same month it plans to retire the Monsanto name.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. WHY AM I NOT PERMITTED TO SEE WHAT 12 JURORS SAID , THOSE WORDS ARE AVAILABLE TO PUBLIC , BUT ONE CLERK AT SAN FRANCISCO SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDGE SUZANNE BOLANOS ADVISED ME BY PHONE THAT THOSE 57 LAW FIRMS MUST APPROVE MY RECIEVING THAT DOCUMENT ? I AM WAITING . HOW MUCH MORE STUPID CAN OUR COURTS BECOME ?

Leave a Comment


Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1952 - 7.5-magnitude Kern County earthquake devastates Tehachapi; damage spread from San Diego to Las Vegas [story]
quake map
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]
Ridge Route
CalArtians are nominated for the 71st Emmy Awards in numerous categories this year, including Acting, Picture Editing, Lighting Design, Production Design, Sound Editing and Animation.
CalArtians Nominated for 2019 Emmy Awards
Bridge to Home, the primary homeless services provider in the Santa Clarita Valley, has secured a Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority contract in the amount of $840,000 which will fund three-quarters of the annual cost of providing 60 beds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Bridge to Home Secures $840K Toward Year-Round Operations
The Valley Industry Association’s Advocacy Committee has been in hot pursuit following the changes, amendments and carve-outs of Assembly Bill 5, which passed the California Assembly floor on May 29, and the Senate’s Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee on July 10.
Establishing Carve-Outs for Assembly Bill 5, the ‘Gig-Work’ Bill
The Santa Clarita Public Library will celebrate the end of its 2019 Summer Reading Program with a free event called the “Stellar Finale with Guest Performer: BubbleMania!” at the Old Town Newhall branch on Saturday, July 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
July 27: Library to Wrap Summer Reading Program with ‘BubbleMania’
Matt Hearn picked up two hits to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, but the JetHawks lost, 9-1, to the Stockton Ports on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Hearn Extends Streak in JetHawks Loss to Ports
Los Angeles County has agreed to its largest-ever largest payout -- $53 million -- to settle a 2010 class-action lawsuit over strip search practices of prisoners at the Sheriff’s Department’s Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.
LA County OK’s $53M Settlement in Jail Strip Search Suit
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating a confirmed case of measles in a county resident that is linked to four cases reported earlier this month.
Public Health Investigates Another Case of Measles
Speaking before the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Planning and Programming Committee on July 17, Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean advocated for the Antelope Valley Line Study to be presented to the full Metro Board.
McLean Urges Metro Board to Review Antelope Valley Line Study
A neighbor dispute over yard work ended with one man allegedly ramming his neighbor’s trailer with a tractor, resulting in his arrest on suspicion of making criminal threats and vandalism.
Valencia Man Accused of Ramming Tractor, Threatening Neighbor
A jury trial is slated to begin next month for L.A. rapper Blueface, who was arrested in connection with an alleged vehicle-to-vehicle shooting in Newhall last fall.
Jury Trial for Rapper Blueface Set for Aug. 16
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has confirmed a West Nile virus-positive mosquito sample collected from a trap in the city of Long Beach (90803 zip code), the first confirmation of the presence of the virus in mosquito populations within the county this year.
West Nile Virus Mosquito Sample Confirmed in LA County
Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, the world stopped to watch in awe as Apollo 11 astronauts walked on the moon. The semi-centennial has rekindled NASA’s interplanetary ambitions. Tapping into a vibrant U.S. space industry, it’s eyeing the moon as a stepping stone to Mars.
50 Years After Moon Landing, NASA Eyes Trip to Mars
1915 - Ince, Griffith, Sennett form Triangle Film Corp.; it produces & distributes early William S. Hart films [story]
Triangle Films
Internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Tony Galla is heavily influenced by the soulful sounds of artists like B.B. King and Ray Charles. Tony developed his own bluesy sound and unique passionate style quickly becoming the lead singer of the blues band, Raven.
Jazz & Blues Concert Series Continues Friday with Tony Galla & The Blues Shuffle Band
Mike’s Diner in Castaic was recently visited by everyone’s favorite yellow sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Yes, that’s right. SpongeBob SquarePants came to Castaic in a recent special live-action episode.
Castaic Diner Featured in SpongeBob Special Live-Action Episode
STOCKTON – Ryan Vilade gave the JetHawks the lead with a home run in the fourth inning, but the Stockton Ports allowed only the one run and rallied to win, 5-1, on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
JetHawks Drop Series Opener to Ports
As the retail industry continues to rapidly evolve, join Westfield Valencia Town Center Senior General Manager, Corrine Barchanowicz, as she provides insights into how a multi-national company like Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is implementing changes at our local shopping center to elevate the retail shopping experience.
July 24: NextSCV Presentation, ‘Relevant Retail’
Arts for Santa Clarita is looking for artists – musicians, actors, writers, visual artists and more – to participate in the next Artquinoxen event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, at Eureka Village, the home of SCV Adventure Play Foundation.
Artists Needed for ‘Artquinox’ Event in September
The Los Angeles County Community Development Foundation (LACDF) awarded $28,000 in Housing Authority Resident (HAR) Scholarships to 28 public housing and Section 8 participants attending a four-year university, community college, or vocational program.
County Awards $28K in Scholarships During 2019 Reality Check Conference
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to make a series of changes in traffic regulations that affect some areas in the Santa Clarita Valley.
New Traffic Regulations Slated for Stevenson Ranch, Castaic
Foster care and foster-adoption are meaningful ways for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.
Aug. 17: Children’s Bureau Foster Care Monthly Information Meeting
In an ongoing effort to prevent wildfires, all burn permits in Los Angeles County will be suspended.
LACoFD Suspends All Burn Permits
%d bloggers like this: