The case involves Dewayne Johnson, exposed to the weed killer manufactured by Monsanto and marketed under the brand name Roundup. The substance’s active component is referred to as glyphosate. The action is being brought against Monsanto Company. Dewayne Johnson, the plaintiff, worked as a grounds manager for a school district and frequently used Monsanto’s pesticides. Johnson’s complaint claims that glyphosate, a chemical in the weedkiller pesticide, caused him to develop NHL after exposure to it (non-Hodgkin lymphoma). With proof that the substance in question caused the plaintiff’s illness, the trial got underway in 2018. The constituent made Mr. Johnson develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In this particular instance, Johnson filed a complaint with his employer when he questioned whether or not the use of Roundup could be the root cause of the skin irritation he was experiencing (Siegel, 2020). Johnson worked as a groundskeeper at the school, and one of his responsibilities included spraying the grounds with herbicides manufactured by Monsanto. After some time had passed, he noticed that his skin was becoming irritated, and he speculated that it might be due to the pesticides. As a result of his worries, he decided to send an email to his employer in which he inquired about the possibility that the herbicides caused the irritations he was experiencing on his skin. It has been demonstrated that the management read the emails but did not respond to them in any way (Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company | California State Court. 2020). The attorney for Johnson eventually discovered that his client’s questions had been brought up in conversation with other workers at the organization.
The legal conflict, in this case, is that Johnson’s cancer was caused by the Roundup weed killer that Monsanto created and that the business neglected to notify Johnson of the potential hazards that could have resulted from exposure to the product. When the groundskeeper emailed the company about the irritations on his skin, the company could not consider the concerns he raised. In his emails, he asked whether the skin irritations he was having were due to the continuous exposure to the chemicals or whether they were caused by anything else. He wanted to know which it was (Gillam, 2020). The attorney for Johnson claims that the corporation did receive the emails but that it did not respond to the concerns raised by Mr. Johnson.
Since the groundskeeper did not get an answer to his question, he reasoned that the irritations must have been caused by something else; therefore, he continued to do his work without knowing he was placing himself in harm’s way. If Johnson had known that the annoyances he was experiencing were due to the Roundup weed killer, he would have been able to seek medical attention sooner rather than later before the situation became more serious. If Johnson had known that the Roundup weed killer was the cause of the annoyances he was experiencing, he would have been able to determine whether/not the relevant legislation to this conflict mandates that Johnson be awarded punitive damages from Monsanto and that the company be subjected to additional scrutiny about the herbicides that they manufacture (Levin, 2018). In addition, the legislation mandates that Johnson be awarded punitive damages from Monsanto. As a result, Mr. Johnson came into contact with something harmful; his health deteriorated directly due to this interaction.
A decision has not been made about the dispute yet; nevertheless, the issue is still being heard at the California appeals court. On 2 June 2020, an oral argument occurred between the two parties. Johnson submitted an appeal requesting that the jury award him punitive damages for $289 million. Initially, the board had concluded that Monsanto would have to pay Johnson 4.28 billion dollars in costs, which includes a punitive damages judgement of $250 million (Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company | California State Court. 2020). Following the discovery by the jury that Monsanto had acted negligently when it neglected to notify Johnson of the health concerns linked with the use of Roundup herbicides, the decision to award Johnson compensation was taken. After further deliberation, the jury decided to lower the award to $79 million.
Since the resolution to the conflict is not yet entirely clear, I believe that the sum that will be given to Dewayne Johnson will not be sufficient. The previous groundskeeper was entitled to the sum initially awarded to him before the jury decided it should not be given to him (Levin, 2018). Reducing damages shows that another individual may buy another person’s life. The actions taken by Monsanto were not by mistake. The company was aware of the potentially dangerous impacts that the Roundup weed killer could have, yet they chose not to take any preventative precautions. When the employee, Dewayne Johnson, wrote an email to the company asking whether the irritations on his skin would result from exposure to the herbicide, the company dismissed his concerns. On the other hand, as the proceedings of the case continue, I believe that the most likely outcome will involve Mr. Johnson being granted the $79 million because both sides agree on the predetermined sum.
Levin, S. (2018). The man who beat Monsanto: ‘They have to pay for not being honest’. Web.
Siegel, D. (2020). CA Appeals Court To Hear Arguments In Landmark Monsanto Roundup Case, Audio Available via CVN. Web.