A California judge on Monday upheld a jury’s verdict that found that Monsanto’s weed killer caused a groundskeeper’s cancer, but she slashed the amount of money to be paid from $289 million to $78 million.
In denying Monsanto’s request for a new trial, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos cut the jury’s punitive damage award from $250 million to $39 million, the same amount the jury awarded for other damages, for a total of $78 million.
Bolanos had earlier said she had strong doubts about the jury’s entire punitive damage award. She gave DeWayne Johnson until Dec. 7 to accept the reduced amount or demand a new trial.
Johnson’s spokeswoman, Diana McKinley, said he and his attorneys were reviewing the decision and hadn’t decided the next step.
“Although we believe a reduction in punitive damages was unwarranted and we are weighing the options, we are pleased the court did not disturb the verdict,” McKinley said.
Christi Dixon, a spokeswoman for Monsanto, didn’t return phone and email inquiries late Monday.