The Latest: Man hopes Monsanto verdict boosts other cases

The Latest on jury $289 million verdict against Monsanto in a lawsuit accusing its Roundup weed killer contributed to cancer (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

The former school groundskeeper who won a $289 million verdict in a lawsuit alleging Roundup weed killer contributed to his terminal cancer says he hopes the decision is the first of thousands against Monsanto.

Dewayne Johnson said Friday in San Francisco that the jury's verdict is far bigger than his lawsuit.

He said he hopes the case bolsters the thousands of lawsuits pending against the company and brings national attention to the issue.

Johnson spoke briefly in his lawyers' offices after the verdict was announced Friday. Johnson declined to take questions from reporters.

Monsanto says it'll appeal. Company spokesman Scott Partridge says Monsanto sympathizes with Johnson but hundreds of scientific studies and government agencies have concluded that Roundup doesn't cause cancer.


4:45 p.m.

Monsanto Co. says it will appeal a $289 million verdict a San Francisco jury ordered it to pay a former groundskeeper who claimed the company's weed killer contributed to his terminal cancer.

Company spokesman Scott Partridge said Friday that Monsanto sympathizes with Dewayne Johnson and his family. But Partridge said hundreds of scientific studies and government agencies have concluded that its Roundup weed killer doesn't cause cancer.

The St. Louis-based company is facing about 2,000 similar lawsuits across the country. Dewayne Johnson's attorney, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., says the San Francisco verdict should bolster the chances of the other lawsuits.


3:40 p.m.

A San Francisco jury has awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who claimed Monsanto's popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his terminal cancer.

In its decision Friday, the state court jury found the agribusiness giant failed to adequately warn of the risks of using Roundup.

Dewayne Johnson's lawyers said he sprayed Roundup and a similar product, Ranger Pro, in large quantities as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district. He developed a rash and was 42 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014.

Monsanto's lawyer, George Lombardi, said non-Hodgkin's lymphoma takes years to develop, so Johnson's cancer must have started before he worked for the district.

The company has denied ties between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, and cancer.