Strikingly, the majority of the fine imposed was $200 million in punitive damages against Monsanto for "acting with malice and oppression"
In an historic victory for those who have long sought to see agro-chemical giant Monsanto held to account for the powerful company's toxic and deadly legacy, a court in California on Friday found the corporation liable for damages suffered by a cancer patient who alleged his sickness was directly caused by exposure to the glyphosate-based herbicides, including the widely used weed-killer Roundup.
As Reuter reports:
The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial.
Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.
The jury at San Francisco's Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers. It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.
As Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer representing Johnson in the case, declared on Twitter, the court "awarded 200 million in punitive damages against Monsanto for 'acting with malice and oppression.'"
The Organic Consumers Association, an advocacy group and longtime critic of Monsanto's deadly poisons, celebrated the verdict:
Journalist Tom Philpott also put the ruling in context, noting that even while the Trump administration is doing its best to lift restrictions on toxic pesticides and the chemical industry, the courts appear to be coming around to the unique and far-reaching dangers posed by pesticides, herbicides, and other powerful compounds:
Oh and of course yesterday’s rebuke from the 9th Circuit on the EPA for blessing Dow-DoPont’s neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. https://t.co/SsXEx8u3KR— Tom Philpott (@tomphilpott) August 10, 2018
Posted with permission from Common Dreams