Judge upholds verdict, reduces damages in Roundup cancer case

A California judge upheld a jury’s verdict that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused a groundskeeper’s cancer, but she reduced damages in the case to $78.6 million from $289 million, the Associated Press reports.

Judge Suzanne Bolanos on Monday gave DeWayne Johnson, the California groundskeeper at the center of the case, until Dec. 7 to accept the reduced damages or seek a new trial.

Monsanto, the Creve Coeur-based seed and chemical company recently acquired by German conglomerate Bayer, maintains that there is no scientific proof linking Roundup to cancer.

In August, a California jury ruled otherwise, ordering Monsanto to pay Johnson $289 million in the first of numerous Roundup cases to reach court.

Johnson’s attorneys said this week they were “pleased the court did not disturb the verdict,” but believed the reduction of damages was “unwarranted.”

A Monsanto spokesman applauded the reduced damages but said the company still planned to appeal the verdict.

Bolanos’ move surprised some observers, Bloomberg reports, because it ran counter to a tentative order she had issued less than two weeks before. The judge upheld the jury’s decision despite signaling earlier this month that she might throw out the verdict and order a new trial.

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