Judge considers new trial in Monsanto’s $289M Roundup case

A San Francisco judge said Wednesday she is weighing whether to throw out most of a $289 million judgement against Monsanto and order a new trial over whether the company’s Roundup weed-killer caused a groundskeeper’s cancer, the Associated Press reports.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos didn’t officially rule on any issues following a hearing over Monsanto’s request to throw out an August jury verdict in the case, which is the first of thousands that could go to trial.

The jury ruled that Monsanto, the Creve Coeur-based seed and chemical company, was aware — or should have been — that Roundup caused cancer. The jury ordered the company to pay $289 million in total damages to the groundskeeper, DeWayne Johnson.

Bolanos wrote a tentative ruling before Wednesday’s hearing saying she planned to strike down $250 million in punitive damages and schedule a new trial on that issue. She also questioned the amounts of other damages.

The judge requested written arguments by Friday and said she would rule after that.

Bayer, the German chemical and pharmaceutical company that completed its acquisition of Monsanto earlier this year, said it “continues to believe that the evidence at trial does not support the verdict and the damage awards.”

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