Jurors: Don't throw out $289M weed killer cancer verdict

Jurors who found that agribusiness giant Monsanto's Roundup weed killer contributed to a school groundskeeper's cancer are urging a San Francisco judge not to throw out the bulk of their $289 million award in his favor.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports juror Gary Kitahata told Judge Suzanne Bolanos in a letter that the jury was convinced by the evidence.

He said "I urge you to respect and honor our verdict and the six weeks of our lives that we dedicated to this trial."

Juror Robert Howard wrote to the judge that the jury had paid "studious attention" to the evidence and any decision to overturn its verdict would shake his confidence in the judicial system.

Bolanos said last week she’s inclined to throw out $250 million in punitive damages in favor of DeWayne Johnson. She’s also considering dramatically reducing the remaining award. Her final decision is due by Oct. 22.

Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer AG in June, has asked the judge to override the jury's decision and enter judgment in its favor or order a new trial.

 

Dawn Kamber