Over 4,000 pesticide-related US lawsuits pending against manufacturer Monsanto

AUGUST 2018 – An American court has awarded damages totaling US$289-million to a California school district groundskeeper who claimed that exposure to the pesticide glyphosate resulted in his developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The decision is a major setback for Monsanto, maker of the popular glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup. The company is facing more than 4,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

Introduced by Monsanto in 1974, glyphosate is extensively used in agriculture and forestry, as well as for weed control on lawns and in gardens (where permitted).

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The California jury, which was shown internal company documents, found that Monsanto had failed to fully warn users of its glyphosate-based products about the health risks associated with their use. The successful plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, is not expected to recover from his illness.

Monsanto denies that its products are responsible. Bayer, which recently purchased Monsanto, said it will appeal the verdict.

MORE – CBC News report

Update – February 2021:  Following the 2018 US court decision, Bayer (owner of Monsanto) launched a series of aggressive appeals. The verdict in Dewayne Johnson’s case was sustained, but the damages that had been originally awarded were reduced. In late 2020, Dewayne Johnson finally received a settlement of $20.5-million. Meanwhile, Bayer has agreed to settle thousands of other similar claims for nearly $11-billion (US). Glyphosate-based products remain on the market. Mr. Johnson continues to struggle with his illness.

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