Hundreds of lawsuits claiming Roundup causes cancer have been given the green light to proceed to trial, despite Monsanto claims that there is no connection between glyphosate and cancer. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria had previously said there's "rather weak" evidence the ingredient causes cancer, but the opinions of three experts linking glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were not "junk science". "Today's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews. support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer".
Johnson's attorneys sought and won US$39 million in compensatory damages and US$250 million of the US$373 million they wanted in punitive damages.
Dewayne Johnson was emotional after hearing the verdict.
Johnson's is the first of hundreds of cancer-patient cases against Monsanto and could be a bellwether of what lies ahead for the company.
"The Johnson vs Monsanto verdict is a win for all of humanity and all life on earth", said Zen Honeycutt, founding executive director of non-profit group Moms Across America.
Partridge said outside the courthouse that Monsanto had no intention of settling the slew of similar cases in the legal queue, saying if anything the verdict would prompt the company to work harder to demonstrate the weed killer is safe.
He confirmed the company will appeal the decision "and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others".
Dewayne Johnson's lawyers said he sprayed Roundup and a similar product, Ranger Pro, in large quantities as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district.
At one point, when a hose broke, the weed killer covered his entire body.
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Johnson's lawyers, relying on his testimony and expert witnesses, argued that his exposure, including accidents that got him soaked from head to toe in Roundup, caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"It is the most widely used and most widely studied herbicide in the world", Partridge said.
They said he even once contacted Monsanto after developing a rash, and wasn't told of any risk, the AP reported.
Johnson's attorney Brent Wisner said the verdict "shows the evidence is overwhelming" that the product poses danger.
"The simple fact is he is going to die".
The lawsuit built on 2015 findings by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the UN World Health Organisation, which classified Roundup's main ingredient glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, causing the state of California to follow suit.
In the past, Monsanto sued California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment for adding glyphosate to a list of cancer causing chemicals, and lost.
George Lombardi, a lawyer for the agribusiness giant, said non-Hodgkin's lymphoma takes years to develop, so Johnson's cancer must have started well before he began working at the school. "It's just a matter of time", Wisner told the jury in his opening statement last month.