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Judge Reduces Roundup Weedkiller Punitive Damages to $78.5 Million

A California judge has reduced Bayer AG’s Roundup Weedkiller payment of $250 million in punitive damages to $78.5 million. This decision was made to match the compensatory damages of $39 million that the jury found appropriate.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos ruled that punitive damages more than seven times larger than the compensatory award established were not legally justifiable. If the plaintiff Dewayne Lee Johnson agrees to this reduction by Dec. 7, there will be no need for a new trial on punitive damages.

“The court’s decision to reduce the punitive damage award by more than $200 million is a step in the right direction,” Christopher Loder, a spokesman for Bayer, said. “We continue to believe that the liability verdict and damage awards are not supported by the evidence at trial or the law”.

Jurors awarded the $39 million to the plaintiff to compensate for lost earnings and lost enjoyment of life. The jury argued that Monsanto Co., a company under Bayer’s ownership, should pay the $250 million as a punishment for not disclosing the dangers of the popular herbicide.

The chemical glyphosate, invented by Monsanto and marketed as a Weedkiller in 1974, has come under scrutiny after a statement given by the World Health Organization in 2015 classified it as likely to have the potential to cause cancer. Bayer has since faced thousands of lawsuits across the U.S. and Europe relating to Roundup Weedkiller, a glyphosate-based herbicide.

Bayer has argued that the plaintiff, in this case, relied on weak scientific evidence to prove a link between Dewayne Lee Johnson’s cancer and the Roundup Weedkiller. There have been more than 800 scientific studies confirming that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

Any individual who believes they were affected by Bayer AG’s Roundup Weedkiller should get in touch with the legal team at Laborde Earles Law Firm. Our dedicated lawyers could help you pursue legal action and seek compensation for any damages this product caused.