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The New York Times reports that a California jury ruled on Friday that Monsanto was culpable in a case where a school groundskeeper’s cancer by the company’s weedkillers, including Roundup. Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289 million in damages, though it says it will appeal the verdict, maintaining that its weedkillers are safe and did not cause his cancer.

The story notes that this was just “the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging that Roundup and other glyphosate-based weedkillers cause cancer. Monsanto, a unit of the German conglomerate Bayer following a $62.5 billion acquisition, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.”

The groundskeeper claimed to have “developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup and Ranger Pro, another Monsanto glyphosate herbicide, as part of his job as a pest control manager for a California county school system.”

While the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has gone on record as saying that glyphosate - the main ingredient in its weedkillers - does not cause cancer, the Times notes that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified it as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The plaintiff’s attorneys maintained that Monsanto has known that the weedkiller is a carcinogen for decades, and that the verdict came because the jurors had seen documents proving this case.

The groundskeeper’s cancer is so severe that he is not expected to live past 2020.
KC's View:
I hope this groundskeeper has plenty of legal muscle behind him, because he’s going to need it to fight off the Monsanto folks. Hell, they’re probably hoping they can just outlast him and make sure that he personally never sees any money.