ST. LOUIS — Bayer will not appeal a $20.4 million Roundup verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court, the company said.
The decision not to appeal will end the litigation brought by DeWayne Johnson, a California school groundskeeper, against Bayer’s Monsanto over claims its Roundup pesticide caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Johnson said he applied the weed killer up to 30 times a year as part of his job responsibilities.
A California jury awarded Johnson $289 million in 2018, later reduced to $20.5 million on appeal. In October, the California Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal.
Bayer said it made the decision not to appeal "after careful and extensive consideration," adding, “The decision is not based on the merits of this case but reflects strategic considerations," involving another case with similar claims that "will serve as a better case for review by the Supreme Court."
In that case, brought by plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, a jury in 2019 ordered Monsanto to pay $80 million in damages, saying Roundup had caused Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The trial court judge reduced that verdict to $25 million. It is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“Several factors contribute to making the Johnson case a less desirable candidate for Supreme Court review, including that the underlying opinion was issued by an intermediate level state court and the portion dealing with the key issue of federal preemption is unpublished, and thus will have no bearing on any case besides Johnson," Bayer said.
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