Monsanto verdict reduced but case highlights jury realities in products cases

A jury in San Francisco found that “Roundup,” the world’s most popular and widely used herbicide, caused a school groundskeeper’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma resulting in a $78.5 million verdict against the manufacturer of this product, which has been used internationally since the 1970s. The Monsanto trial reveals three present realities that manufacturers face in product liability cases; lay jurors must draw conclusions on complex scientific issues that qualified scientists and doctors continue to debate; the “right” expert can persuade a jury to disbelieve proven scientific data, even when the data is supported by hundreds of verified studies; and manufacturers that ignore complaints regarding potential product risks will struggle to overcome the image of corporate irresponsibility at trial.

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