Bayer Could Win a New Trial for Roundup

Wall Street Journal writer Jacob Bunge reported earlier this month that, “Bayer AG could win a new trial to defend its Roundup weed killer.

“A California judge on [October 10th] issued a tentative ruling for a new trial on the $250 million in punitive damages awarded to a groundskeeper, who sought to hold the Roundup maker liable for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“If finalized, Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos’s ruling would grant a motion by Bayer arguing that sum wasn’t justified and that the evidence didn’t prove the company intended to harm the plaintiff. It isn’t clear when the judge may finalize the ruling, issued ahead of a court hearing [on October 10th].”

The Journal article noted that, “The plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, is likely to appeal the ruling if it is finalized.”

Mr. Bunge added: “A Bayer spokesman said the judge is considering its motions for a new trial on the liability verdicts and reduction of the $39 million in compensatory damages the jury awarded. Bayer ‘continues to believe that the evidence at trial does not support the verdict and the damage awards,’ he said.”

In addition, Bloomberg writer Joel Rosenblatt reported earlier this month that, “The lawyer most responsible for winning a $289 million verdict against Bayer AG may end up wiping it out.

“Brent Wisner was the lead trial attorney who in August convinced a jury that Monsanto Co.’s Roundup weed killer caused his client’s cancer. His compelling arguments and marshaling of evidence resulted in a blockbuster verdict that has spooked investors looking ahead to thousands of similar lawsuits across the U.S. pending against Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in June.

But Wisner’s closing arguments at trial irked the judge handling the case so profoundly that she’s considering tossing the verdict and ordering a new trial. The lawyer told jurors that Monsanto executives in a company board room were ‘waiting for the phone to ring’ and that ‘behind them is a bunch of champagne on ice,’ according to a court filing. He said that ‘if the damages number isn’t significant enough, champagne corks will pop.'”

The Bloomberg article indicated that, “The judge is examining the company’s arguments that there no basis for the jury to conclude that Monsanto is liable for plaintiff Lee Johnson’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma based on his exposure to the key ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate.”

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