Adam Wernick, PRI, November 19, 2018
Pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer has shed some $20 billion in market value in the weeks since a California court ordered it to pay $289 million in damages to plaintiff Dewayne Lee Johnson, related to his use of the herbicide Roundup.
Jurors found that Monsanto, now owned by Bayer in a $66 billion merger, had acted with malice and negligence in failing to warn Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, about the cancer risks associated with Roundup and its key ingredient, glyphosate. Johnson is now suffering from late-stage non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
The German-based company Bayer merged with Monsanto in June 2018, just two months before the California jury ruled unanimously in favor of Mr. Johnson. Now, Bayer is on the hook for the $289 million in damages.
Carey Gillam, a journalist who has reported extensively on Monsanto, places the blame for Bayer’s predicament on executives who failed to properly warn their shareholders that this potential liability existed.
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