published : 2023-11-04

Man Awarded $332 Million in Lawsuit Against Weedkiller Company

California jury grants millions to man in lawsuit against Monsanto Co.

A photo of a man in a protective suit spraying weedkiller in a garden, highlighting the potential dangers of using chemical-based products like Roundup. (Taken with a Nikon D850)

A California jury has awarded $332 million to a man who sued chemical giant Monsanto Co. contending that his cancer was related to decades of using its Roundup weedkiller.

The lawsuit was filed by Mike Dennis, 57, of Carlsbad, who was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2020.

Dennis claimed that his illness was caused by Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate.

A close-up shot of a bottle of Roundup weedkiller, emphasizing the glyphosate ingredient that is at the center of the lawsuit. (Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

After a trial in the San Diego Superior Court, he was awarded $7 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages.

Despite being in remission for nearly three years, Dennis's doctors have warned him of a potential relapse, leaving him in an uncertain state.

The jury found that Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, failed to adequately warn users about the risks of Roundup.

An image of Mike Dennis, the man who filed the lawsuit against Monsanto Co., standing outside the San Diego Superior Court, seeking justice for his cancer diagnosis. (Taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III)

However, the jurors also ruled in Bayer's favor, stating that the product design wasn't defective and the company wasn't negligent.

Bayer, which acquired Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, plans to appeal the verdict, citing legal and evidentiary errors made during the trial.

In recent years, Bayer has been dealing with thousands of claims and lawsuits related to Roundup, and has announced a settlement of up to $10.9 billion to resolve some of these cases.