A judge on Wednesday was mulling whether to gut a jury order that Monsanto pay $290 million in damages for not warning a groundskeeper that its weed killer product Roundup might cause cancer.
In motions filed after the historic August verdict, Monsanto urged the judge to strip away the $250 million punitive portion of the damages, arguing that a new trial was justified.
Rival attorneys argued before California state Judge Suzanne Bolanos, who did not say when she would rule on the motions.
Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto acted with “malice” and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed “substantially” to Dewayne Johnson’s terminal illness.
The San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $250 million in punitive damages along with compensatory damages and other costs, bringing the total figure to nearly $290 million.
Johnson, a California groundskeeper diagnosed in 2014 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — a cancer that affects white blood cells — says he repeatedly used a professional form of Roundup while working at a school in Benicia, California.
Monsanto attorney George Lombardi argued in court Wednesday that the evidence presented at trial did not support the jury verdict, and that an attorney for Johnson was wrong to urge jurors to teach the company a lesson.
“The message it sent to this jury was that you can look beyond what Mr Johnson’s case is about and you can go out to things that you think society would like to hear about,” Lombardi said in court.
Johnson sat nearby as his attorneys countered that jurors came to a lawful verdict based on what was presented at trial, and that Bolanos should deny Monsanto’s motions.
“We have a jury that got it right and did it right,” argued Johnson’s attorney, Michael Miller.
“We need to respect the jury’s verdict.”
Trump’s reelection support is 50-50 in Texas, Biden and O’Rourke lead the Democrats, UT/TT Poll says
Texas voters are split when asked about reelecting the president, and Joe Biden and Beto O'Rourke are their favorites for the Democratic nomination to challenge him, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Half of the registered voters in Texas would vote to reelect President Donald Trump, but half of them would not, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Few of those voters were wishy-washy about it: 39% said they would “definitely” vote to reelect Trump; 43% said they would “definitely not” vote for him. The remaining 18% said they would “probably” (11%) or “probably not” (7%) vote to give Trump a second term.
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Saudi Arabia blames Iran for tanker attacks but does not want war
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and called on the international community to take a “decisive stand”, but said that the kingdom does not want a war in the region.
Attacks on two oil tankers on Thursday, which the United States also blamed on Iran, have raised fears of broader confrontation in the region. Iran has denied any role in the strikes south of the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route and major transit route for oil.