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Federal Judge Reviews Punitive Damages Award for Monsanto's “Reprehensible” Conduct

Federal Judge Reviews Punitive Damages Award for Monsanto's "Reprehensible" Conduct

Shortly after it was decided that David Domina and Domina Law Group would litigate the next wave of Roundup trials in Nebraska, a federal judge announced he will reconsider a jury’s $80 million verdict awarded to a cancer victim who used the glyphosate-based weedkiller earlier this year.

At a hearing held Tuesday, January 9th, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria stated he would potentially reduce some, but not all, of the punitive damages awarded by the jury in connection for Monsanto’s “reprehensible conduct.” He further stated that evidence presented at trial showed “Monsanto not really caring whether its products cause cancer.”

The award stems from a case resolved in March, in which a federal jury in San Francisco found Roundup was a likely cause of a 70-year-old California man’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The man had been diagnosed with NHL after using Monsanto on his property in Northern California for nearly three decades.

An article about the hearing, which discusses Domina Law Group’s role in the litigation, was recently published in the Lincoln Journal Star.

Roundup Litigation: Corporate Profits Over People

Domina Law filed the Nebraska part of the Roundup litigation, the first Roundup case in the U.S., on behalf of Midwestern farmers, and several of the nation’s first Roundup lawsuits to allege deadly links between Roundup’s active chemical component, glyphosate, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

There are now over 13,000 lawsuits pending against Monsanto and Bayer AG, which acquired Monsanto last year. Claimants allege long-term use of Roundup herbicide led to diagnoses of NHL, and other forms of blood cancer.

Through the course of litigation, evidence regarding what Monsanto knew about glyphosate, when it knew, and what steps it took to conceal and mislead consumers began to arise. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, Monsanto has been accused of:

For these and other reasons, juries have handed down incredibly large punitive damage awards, including $2 billion in punitive damages to a California couple diagnosed with NHL, and $289 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a California school groundskeeper.

Though awards of this magnitude are often modified and reduced, they send a clear message. Juries, who reflect the values and ideals of real, everyday Americans, have made it clear they will not stand for corporations that value profits over people, and their bottom line more than human life.

Find more information about Monsanto Roundup Cancer Lawsuits, and the latest legal updates on our website.

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