CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Scott Love delivering his closing argument
San Diego, CA - A California state court jury slammed agrochemical giant Monsanto with a $332 million verdict on Tuesday in a lawsuit claiming the popular weed killer Roundup causes cancer, and the full trial was recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
The San Diego County jury deliberated for four days in a trial that began in early October. They awarded plaintiff Mike Dennis, who claimed he developed a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 51 due to exposure to Roundup, $7 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages.
The verdict comes just weeks after a Missouri jury returned a $1.25 million verdict in a Roundup trial also recorded by CVN and a $175 million verdict in Pennsylvania, where video coverage of jury trials is not permitted.
Subscribers to CVN's online trial video library get unlimited on-demand access to numerous Roundup trials in addition to hundreds of other cases featuring top plaintiff and defense trial attorneys from across the country.
These three consecutive verdicts mark a sharp change of fortunes for plaintiffs after Bayer-owned Monsanto secured defense verdicts in 10 previous Roundup cases.
Those wins put Monsanto on a more aggressive footing with regards to resolving Roundup cases. According to attorney Adam Peavy, who represents Dennis and is of counsel at the Texas-based firm Clark Love & Hutson, Monsanto made zero settlement offers before or during the trial.
Peavy attributed the win to new scientific studies allegedly proving a stronger link between ingredients in Roundup like glyphosate and cancer.
“I think the science on causation has taken a dramatic turn in the last year,” Peavy told CVN. “The science has taken a turn for the worse for them.”
Peavy also cited recent decisions by regulatory bodies not to extend glyphosate approval as playing a role in the case.
“The happened during our trial, and we got to tell the jury that,” he said.
A Monsanto spokesperson told CVN after the trial the company planned to appeal the verdict.
”We respectfully disagree with the jury’s adverse verdict, though it found in favor of the company on two of the four claims, and believe that we have strong arguments on appeal to get this unfounded verdict overturned and the unconstitutionally excessive damage award eliminated or reduced, given that there were significant and reversible legal and evidentiary errors made during this trial,” They stated. “We have a winning record in the Roundup litigation – having won nine of the last twelve cases at trial – and have resolved the majority of claims filed in this litigation.”
CVN screenshot of defense attorney Pamela Yates delivering her closing argument
While Monsanto has more Roundup wins notched than plaintiffs, these three consecutive verdicts and the inclusion of substantial punitive damages in Philadelphia and San Diego make the outcome of upcoming trials of even greater significance. Peavy attributed these recent outcomes to more collaboration among plaintiff firms throughout the country.
“All these firms are working together,” he said. “That’s why there’s a change, and it shows. It shows in the results.”
Dennis is also represented by Scott Love, Grace Hooten and Ryan Ziminskas of Clark Love & Hutson, and by Paul Kiesel and Melanie Palmer of Kiesel Law.
Monsanto is represented by Pamela Yates and Daniel Meyers of Arnold & Porter, and Lee Mickus and Jay Schuttert of Evans Fears Schuttert McNulty & Mickus.
The trial took place before Judge Kevin Enright.
The case is captioned Michael Dennis v. Monsanto Company, case number 37-2021-00047326-CU-PO-NC in San Diego County Superior Court, California.
E-mail David Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org