By Christina Morales, Editor-in-Chief
Periscope News Group
August 12, 2018
San Francisco, CA – On August 10, 2018, a California jury ruled in favor of school groundskeeper, DeWayne Johnson, citing that Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers did in fact cause Johnson’s cancer diagnosis. After decades of denying the link of cancer and Roundup, this is a huge hit to Monsanto and could influence future cases.
Johnson worked for four years as a groundskeeper for the Benicia school district, a suburb of San Francisco. During that time, Johnson would spray approximately 150 gallons of Ranger Pro per day on the five school campuses, including football and baseball fields, for about 20 to 30 days per year. Johnson underwent herbicide training and was told during those courses that Ranger Pro “was safe enough to drink”. After experiencing two accidents where his skin was soaked in this herbicide, Johnson called Monsanto to find out if these incidents put his health at risk. The company failed to ever call Johnson back. In 2013, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
After three days of deliberation, the jury unanimously decided that Monsanto was responsible for Johnson’s lymphoma (a specific type of blood cancer) and determined that Johnson be awarded $289 million: $39.25 million in compensatory damages – the monetary value of what he lost in wages and a million dollars for each year of Johnson’s life that he will lose due to cancer (Johnson is currently 46 years old) and $250 million in punitive damages – a monetary amount meant to punish a company for negligence or malice. In this case, Monsanto was deemed guilty for not adequately warning customers of the dangers of their products and for acting with “malice or oppression.”
During this month-long trial, Johnson’s attorneys hired an oncologist, toxicologist, and scientist to testify to the link between Roundup and cancer. The detrimental ingredient in Roundup is called glyphosate. It was determined that glyphosate bioaccumulates in the skin which then goes to the blood to cause blood cancer. This explains Johnson’s skin disorders and his cancer diagnosis.
This current case is a huge victory for those who have been fighting against Monsanto for decades and this trial could be an important indicator for future cases. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or another blood cancer after using Roundup, please contact Periscope Group today. Monsanto should have put warning labels on their products and they should have indicated proper usage for consumers to protect their skin. Instead, they put profits above people and now countless consumers are suffering. We want to hear your story.