July 23, 2020

Court of Appeal reduces Roundup punitive damages from $39.3 million to $10.3 million (Johnson v. Monsanto)

In 2018, a San Francisco jury awarded $39.3 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages to a man who claimed he developed cancer as a result of using Monsanto’s weedkillers Roundup and Ranger Pro.  The trial court reduced the punitive damages to $39.3 million in response to Monsanto’s post-trial motions, resulting in a 1-to-1 ratio between the punitive and compensatory damages.

The Court of Appeal (First District, Division One), affirmed the judgment in a partially published opinion, but reduced the compensatory damages to $10.3 million and then reduced the punitive damages to $10.3 to preserve the trial court’s 1-to-1 ratio.

I won’t comment on the court’s analysis, because Horvitz & Levy represents Monsanto in this case.