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Old August 11, 2018   #1
pmcgrady
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Default Roundup Settlement

I just read were a jury awarded $289 million in damages from cancer a groundskeeper
contacted using a form of Roundup.
I haven't been a Monsanto lover since they sued (and won) a farmer for replanting soybeans he bought at a grain elevator, some of which were roundup ready beans.
How can you still own a seed after it's been planted, harvested and sold?
Sometime KARMA takes time.
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Old August 11, 2018   #2
PaulF
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Problem is, this was a local county court in San Francisco where similar rulings have routinely been struck down by State and Federal courts. The jury was hand picked by the local environmental activists. To date no compensation has ever been paid on Round-Up lawsuits.

This is not a defense by me of Monsanto. I also hate the tactics they have used, but I do admit I use Round-Up occasionally if absolutely the last resort. For me, it is the least vile of herbicides. As with all chemicals, use sparingly and follow the instructions for use on the label.
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Old August 11, 2018   #3
Koala Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulF View Post
The jury was hand picked by the local environmental activists.



That's not how jury selection works.

I have no idea why you'd make such a blatantly erroneous statement.
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Old August 11, 2018   #4
pmcgrady
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Quote:
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That's not how jury selection works.

I have no idea why you'd make such a blatantly erroneous statement.
People Good, Monsanto Evil
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Old August 11, 2018   #5
zeuspaul
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It is strange a jury can be picked by one side in a case. If Monsanto were part of the case one would think they also had a say in the jury.

The problem with Round Up isn't selective use. The problem is the vast use.
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Old August 11, 2018   #6
pmcgrady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeuspaul View Post
It is strange a jury can be picked by one side in a case. If Monsanto were part of the case one would think they also had a say in the jury.

The problem with Round Up isn't selective use. The problem is the vast use.
The problem is GMO corn/beans have been fed to the pork and beef we have been eating for thirty years...
Here in Macoupin County, IL... I watched it happen.

Last edited by pmcgrady; August 11, 2018 at 10:25 PM.
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Old August 12, 2018   #7
bower
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I agree with you PMC, there are vast implications in the food chain. The whole Roundup-ready genetics is intended so that the crops can be sprayed with it any time and multiple times during the season. There is definitely residue on human food as well as fodder for animals.


This is just another nail in the coffin of chemical ag, to me. And reinforces my feelings about growing and eating organic. It's just too bad that I can't always afford or access the higher quality products that I don't produce myself. Bottom line, we all have some exposure, nobody knows how the various pesticides and herbicides interact out in the field and once they're consumed as residues. So I will continue on with my personal feeling, that is to keep that intake as small as I can and support alternatives to chemical ag in any way I can.


I am so thrilled to see even fast food chains are turning to no-chem, no-fake ingredients and putting it out there in their advertising... you'd have to be an idiot not to know there's a giant market share out there for uncontaminated food!



As regards the trial verdict, of course it will be appealed. However one important thing happened during this trial, which is that internal documents from Monsanto released in the discovery have become open to the public view. Those documents make it very clear that the "science" supporting safety was not really meeting scientific standards, it was edited for publication to support the company agenda. The dishonesty of Monsanto and fostering corruption in science is frankly more disgusting even than their products.
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Old August 12, 2018   #8
Cole_Robbie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeuspaul View Post
It is strange a jury can be picked by one side in a case.
Well....there's a little more to that. The venue was certainly hand-picked. The plaintiff is the one who files the first court papers to sue, and can thus pick which court they go to, provided the court has jurisdiction. It certainly is no accident that this case was tried in San Francisco. I live not too far from Madison County, Illinois, which contains East St Louis, and has the most generous juries in the country for lawsuits against corporations. Lawyers will usually pick it over every other court in the nation if they are trying to win a big verdict against a big company.

When the jury is being selected, each side may make challenges to particular individuals to get them excluded for possible bias. Here is an article about that process, written by one lawyer to other lawyers:
https://www.lexology.com/library/det...a-ca090da98c9a

Without knowing the specifics of the case, I don't know how hard Monsanto fought the jury selection process. They may have just given up on finding anyone in San Francisco who does not have bias against them. From a tactical standpoint, Monsanto's legal resources are probably best used on appeal. They probably knew they were going to lose at trial court, and are are fully expecting a very large reduction of that jury's award when the verdict is appealed. The appeal will take time, and in all likelihood, the unfortunate plaintiff will die before he ever sees any of that money.
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Old August 12, 2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Well....there's a little more to that. The venue was certainly hand-picked. The plaintiff is the one who files the first court papers to sue, and can thus pick which court they go to, provided the court has jurisdiction. It certainly is no accident that this case was tried in San Francisco. I live not too far from Madison County, Illinois, which contains East St Louis, and has the most generous juries in the country for lawsuits against corporations. Lawyers will usually pick it over every other court in the nation if they are trying to win a big verdict against a big company.

When the jury is being selected, each side may make challenges to particular individuals to get them excluded for possible bias. Here is an article about that process, written by one lawyer to other lawyers:
https://www.lexology.com/library/det...a-ca090da98c9a

Without knowing the specifics of the case, I don't know how hard Monsanto fought the jury selection process. They may have just given up on finding anyone in San Francisco who does not have bias against them. From a tactical standpoint, Monsanto's legal resources are probably best used on appeal. They probably knew they were going to lose at trial court, and are are fully expecting a very large reduction of that jury's award when the verdict is appealed. The appeal will take time, and in all likelihood, the unfortunate plaintiff will die before he ever sees any of that money.

I am not so sure the court was hand picked. The plaintiff lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay area and the trial was held in San Francisco. It is certainly possible that it was handpicked within the San Francisco area, I don't know
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Old August 12, 2018   #10
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Here is a link to the story


https://www.sfgate.com/business/arti...#photo-8081477


A few things I find noteworthy
They say this is the first trial against Monsanto regarding Roundup damages;


"The first trial on whether the world’s most widely used herbicide causes cancer came to an explosive ending Friday — a San Francisco jury’s award of $289 million in damages to a man diagnosed with a lethal illness while spraying school grounds with a weed-killer manufactured by Monsanto Co."


"The verdict could be a forerunner for the 4,000 lawsuits that have been filed across the country by individuals who claim they were sickened by Roundup. Johnson’s case was the first to go to trial."


Of course Monsanto uses the Defense that the EPA says its safe but everyone knows the EPA is corrupt.


"The jury’s decision also amounted to a rebuke of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has long classified glyphosate as safe and has not restricted its use, despite an other agencies’ findings that the herbicide probably causes cancer."





My opinion is that as long as these cases stay in the hands of impartial juries and not corrupt public officials, government agencies and potentially corrupt judges, Monsanto will be paying out a lot of settlements and awards in the future regarding Roundup
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Old August 12, 2018   #11
Cole_Robbie
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I guess it could be looked at as the plaintiff being hand-picked, given that there are thousands of lawsuits for which the legal team who represented this plaintiff could have chosen from. It takes a lot of money to go up against Monsanto in court, and even if you win at trial, you can still lose on appeal and never get paid. "Test" cases like this are often funded by special interest groups, in this case environmental groups I would presume, and they don't want to waste all that money on the wrong case. They needed to be in California, from what I read, because the state has a law that fast-tracks lawsuits for dying plaintiffs. Beyond that, they pick the case with the fact pattern most likely to succeed with the jury - the plaintiff here was a poor working man, just trying to do his job to support his family, and now he is dying of a horrible disease. That tugs at anyone's heart strings.

I don't mean to sound like I am on one particular side of a controversial issue; I'm really not. My point is that cases like this are more about larger battles between very powerful opposing forces. The particular plaintiffs involved are used as pawns in that regard. Whether that is good or bad is a matter of opinion.
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Old August 12, 2018   #12
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Cole, does the appeal have a jury as well?


The amount of the award is certainly ample, and it's interesting that most of it is punitive damages. That is for the bad faith involved, in not warning users of risks...


I sure hope the guy gets something before the bitter end.
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Old August 12, 2018   #13
seaeagle
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That makes sense but CBS says Johnson was allowed to go first because of the advanced stage of his disease and the possibility he may not live to see a verdict.


Today is the first I have heard of this so I haven't really read the particulars. It was just a matter of time before this happened. How the Monsanto executives can lie to the camera and keep a straight face is amazing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z5rWjxEt34
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Old August 12, 2018   #14
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http://www.courts.ca.gov/998.htm

A panel of three judges will hear the appeal. Juries determine questions of fact. The facts in the case are not disputed on appeal. Instead, the party appealing will argue that the trial court erred in some way, often procedural. It is possible to get the entire case sent back to the lower court to go through it all again. Or the lower court's award could just get reduced on appeal, which is probably more likely.
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Old August 13, 2018   #15
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After speding 15 years doing corporate defense work for people claiming injury from product exposures, I can you the place the the trial takes place makes a HUGE difference, that those things are definitely planned by large plaintiff lawfirms who want the first trials to get the largest possible verdicts in order to make corporations settle and for the highest amounts possible on remaining cases. California is going to have some of the highest verdicts in the country for claims of toxic exposures and the juries most likely to favor plaintiffs. Connecticut is going have much lower verdicts and more skeptical juries. NY also gets some very high verdicts. It is all planned to the last detail. On the other hand, Defendants are more eager to settle in those places as well but feel they can drive a harder bargain in states that would not get such large verdicts should a case go to trial.
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