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October 29, 2020

California Supreme Court Rejects Review in Roundup Case

On October 21, the request for review made by Bayer AG’s Monsanto Company, a subsidiary of Bayer AGCo. (Monsanto), of an appeals court decision that validated California school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s claims while also reducing the award to $20.5 million was denied review by the California Supreme Court. The case, Johnson v. Monsanto Company, is the first multimillion-dollar jury award to a plaintiff alleging that the company’s pesticide Roundup was the culprit of their cancer.

Monsanto argued that Johnson had failed to establish company liability for his non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The company maintains that Roundup does not cause cancer. However, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer identified glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. In 2018, a San Francisco jury had awarded Johnson $289 million, later reduced $78.6 million. In addition to this case, there are three other pending appeals in the Roundup litigation including an oral argument that took place October 23 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.