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FILE court awards damages to man claiming weedkiller caused cancer
A jury's 289 million US dollar award to a former school groundskeeper who said Monsanto's Roundup left him dying of cancer will bolster thousands of pending cases and open the door for countless people who blame their suffering on the weed killer, the man's lawyers said. Johnson, 46, alleges that heavy contact with the herbicide caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The state Superior Court jury agreed that Roundup contributed to Johnson's cancer and Monsanto should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard. His was the first case filed by a cancer patient against the agribusiness giant to reach trial. It was expedited because court filings indicated that Johnson was dying. His victory may set the precedent for many others. Monsanto has denied a link between the active ingredient in Roundup — glyphosate — and cancer, saying hundreds of studies have established that glyphosate is safe. Johnson's attorneys sought and won 39 million US dollars in compensatory damages and 250 million of the 373 million US dollars they wanted in punitive damages. Monsanto spokesman Scott Partridge said the company will appeal, caliming that scientific studies and two government agencies have concluded that Roundup does not cause cancer.