San Francisco, CA—Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos upheld the ruling that linked Bayer’s Roundup to Dewayne Johnson’s non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, but decreased the punitive damages from $289 million to $78.5 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. If Johnson agrees to the reduction by December 7th, no new trial will be necessary.
Judge Bolanos released an 11-page ruling on Monday stating that “regardless of the level of reprehensibility of Monsanto’s conduct, the constitutionally required ratio is one to one” between harm and restitution.
Bayer said it would appeal the verdict, hoping for the award to be overturned altogether. Their stock dropped 6.7% upon the release of the verdict.
Attorneys for Mr. Johnson said that they reduction in punitive damages was unwarranted, but that they are happy that the jury’s voice was heard.
Several of the jurors themselves wrote letters to the court urging the judge not to set aside their decision. Two of them said in interviews prior to the judge’s final ruling that they settled on $250 million because anything less would not be a sufficient deterrent.
The jurors also said that, contrary to what the Monsanto attorneys have argued and to what the judge has suggested, attorney Brent Wisner’s closing remarks did not “inflame” them or affect the jury’s decision at all. Robert Howard, one of the jurors, said that his comments were brushed aside in the deliberation room, and that their decision was made based on in-depth reviews of the witnesses presented to them.