A San Francisco Superior Court judge has issued a tentative ruling that she will order a new trial for the Monsanto cancer trial decided this summer. Following the $289 million judgment against the agribusiness giant, Judge Suzanne Bolanos wrote on Wednesday that plaintiff Dewayne Johnson and his legal team failed to provide “clear and convincing evidence of malice or oppression” by Monsanto, according to the Associated Press.
Jurors deliberated for three days before handing in a verdict and awarding $298 million judgment in August, the total the sum of two awards of $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages. Bolanos’ tentative order would apply to the $250 million punitive damages award. Attorneys argued on Wednesday that the $39 million judgement should stand.
Johnson, a former school groundskeeper in San Francisco, has advanced lymphoma that he alleges was caused by Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, and specifically by its active ingredient, glyphosate. Before the multi-million dollar settlement, his lawyers stated that they did not know if he would live long enough to learn the verdict. Johnson’s legal team initially sought $412 million in damages.
Johnson’s case is only one of hundreds of lawsuits currently filed against Monsanto alleging links between Roundup weed killer and cancer. It was also the first to go to trial.