A jury in America has awarded Dewayne “Lee” Johnson $289.2 million in a landmark lawsuit against Monsanto Company, the manufacturer of Roundup weed killer.
Johnson, a groundskeeper in California used Roundup every day. It is believed that one of the ingredients, glyphosate, listed by the World Health Organization as cancerous led to Johnson developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in August 2014.
Johnson is one of the 800 people suing the company over the product. His case was first to be listened to because he is has a few weeks to live.
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On Friday, the jurors sided with Johnson, 46, awarding him $250 million in punitive damages, and nearly $39.2m in compensatory damages, bringing the total to $289m.
Johnson was grateful for the way the case turned out.
‘It’s taken a lot of prayer, I’ve taken energy from a lot of people. I’m glad to be here to help. Hopefully, this thing will start to get the attention it needs. This case is way bigger than me,’ he said.
Johnson plans to use the compensation to spend more time with wife and their children, his lawyer Brent Wisner said.
In response to the verdict, Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge said the company will appeal the decision.
‘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,” he said in a statement.