A San Francisco judge said in a tentative ruling Wednesday that she would order a new trial in a $289 million judgment against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by a school groundskeeper who says Roundup weed-killer caused his cancer.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos issued the ruling ahead of scheduled oral arguments Wednesday. A jury in August awarded Johnson $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.
Monsanto had argued ahead of the hearing that Johnson failed to prove that Roundup or similar herbicides caused his lymphoma, and presented no evidence that Monsanto executives were malicious in marketing it.
Many government regulators have rejected a link between glyphosate and cancer. Monsanto has vehemently denied such a connection, saying hundreds of studies have established that glyphosate is safe.