Dying Man Gets His Day in Court Against Monsanto

He blames Roundup for his cancer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2018 5:33 AM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2018 1:10 PM CDT
Bottles of Roundup herbicide, a product of Monsanto, are displayed on a store shelf in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
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(Newser) – DeWayne Johnson is going to die—but first, he will see the company he blames for his cancer in court. Johnson, a 46-year-old father of three, is the first of hundreds of cancer patients suing Monsanto to have his case go to trial, the International Business Times reports. The California man used the company's Roundup weed killer 20 to 30 times a year when he worked for a school district between 2012 and 2015, and his lawsuit alleges that the company covered up the dangers of the product for decades, reports the Guardian. Johnson, who suffers from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, has lesions over around 80% of his body and is sometimes unable to move or speak. He was granted an expedited trial because doctors say he may not see 2019.

Monsanto rejects the lawsuit's accusation that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, causes cancer, and says studies linking it to cancer are vastly outnumbered by studies stating the opposite. "We have empathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the scientific evidence clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause," Monsanto spokesman Scott Partridge says. Johnson's case is expected to set a precedent for hundreds or thousands of others. "Mr. Johnson is angry and is the most safety-oriented person I know," his attorney, Timothy Litzenburg, tells CNN. "Right now, he is the bravest dude in America. Whatever happens with the trial and his health, his sons get to know that." (Read more Monsanto stories.)

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