Dewayne Johnson is dying of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. His doctors have told him he shouldn't expect to live for more than two years. He believes he got the disease from regularly using Roundup weedkiller in his role as a groundskeeper for the San Francisco Bay school district, according to CNN.
In August, Johnson sued Monsanto, the chemical giant that makes Roundup, and won. A jury decided to award the father of two $250 in punitive damages and $39 million in compensatory damages.
Monsanto, valued at $66 billion, denied any responsibility for the groundskeeper's illness and promised to appeal the decision.
According to a new CNN report, the company has been handed a partial victory. ,
Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos has issued a tentative judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which overrules the jury's decision. Instead of receiving the initial $289 million, Johnson will get about $78 million in total.
"In enforcing due process limits, the court does not sit as a replacement for the jury but only as a check on arbitrary awards," Bolanos wrote in her Monday ruling. "The punitive damages award must be constitutionally reduced to the maximum allowed by due process in this case — $39,253,209.35 — equal to the amount of compensatory damages awarded by the jury based on its findings of harm to the plaintiff."
In a statement to The Guardian, Johnson's legal team said the “reduction in punitive damages was unwarranted” and added they are "weighing the options."
During her ruling on Monday, Judge Bolanos said if Johnson rejects the lowered amount, she will issue a new trial for him.
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