Bayer's Monsanto asks US court to toss $289M Roundup verdict

Bayer unit Monsanto on Tuesday asked a California judge to throw out a $289 million jury verdict awarded to a man who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, gave him cancer.

The company said the jury's decision was insufficiently supported by the evidence presented at trial by school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, as reported by Reuters.

Johnson's case was fast-tracked for trial due to the severity of his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system.

He alleged that his cancer was caused by years of exposure to Roundup and Ranger Pro, another Monsanto herbicide that contains glyphosate.

Monsanto asked the judge in the trial to set aside the verdict or, reduce the award or grant a new trial.

A hearing on the motions is set for October 10.

Johnson's case was the first to go to trial over allegations that glyphosate causes cancer. Monsanto is facing some 8,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

In September 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded a decades-long assessment of glyphosate risks and found the chemical is not a likely carcinogen to humans.

However, in 2015, the cancer unit of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

The jury found Monsanto failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed-killers. It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.