Bayer receives tentative ruling for a new trial in $250-mn weed-killer case

Bayer AG's Monsanto unit on Wednesday received a tentative ruling for a new trial on the $250 million in punitive damages awarded by a jury to a groundskeeper who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer.

According to a court filing in San Francisco's Superior Court of California, Judge Suzanne Bolanos was considering whether to grant the company's motion for a new trial on the punitive damages.

The judge's ruling, granting a new trial on the punitive damages, is tentative and was being discussed at a court hearing on Wednesday.

Bolanos at the close of the two-hour hearing in front of a packed courtroom said the parties had until Friday to submit their proposed orders in response to her ruling.

California judges often issue tentative rulings, which are then finalised after a hearing with few major changes.

The Aug. 10 award to Dewayne Johnson included $39 million in compensatory damages. Johnson, whose doctors say he is likely to die within the next two years, attended Wednesday's hearing.

The combined $289 million verdict marked the first decision finding that Monsanto had failed to warn consumers of the alleged cancer risks posed by glyphosate, the world's most widely used weed-killer.

Bayer, which bought Monsanto earlier this year for $63 billion, faces more than 8,000 similar lawsuits in the United States.

The German compa...

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