Jury awards $289M to man who blames Roundup for cancer - Canadanewsmedia
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Jury awards $289M to man who blames Roundup for cancer

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A jury’s $289 million award to a former school groundskeeper who said Monsanto’s Roundup left him dying of cancer will bolster thousands of pending cases and open the door for countless people who blame their suffering on the weed killer, the man’s lawyers said.

“I’m glad to be here to be able to help in a cause that’s way bigger than me,” Dewayne Johnson said at a news conference Friday after the verdict was announced.

Johnson, 46, alleges that heavy contact with the herbicide caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The state Superior Court jury agreed that Roundup contributed to Johnson’s cancer and Monsanto should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard.

Johnson thanked jurors “from the bottom of my heart” for their work, along with his lawyers and his family.

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His was the first case filed by a cancer patient against the agribusiness giant to reach trial. It was expedited because court filings indicated that Johnson was dying. His victory may set the precedent for many others.

“A unanimous jury in San Francisco has told Monsanto: ‘Enough. You did something wrong and now you have to pay,’” said Brent Wisner, Johnson’s lead trial lawyer. “There’s 4,000 other cases filed around the United States and there are countless thousand other people out there who are suffering from cancer because Monsanto didn’t give them a choice … We now have a way forward.”

Monsanto has denied a link between the active ingredient in Roundup — glyphosate — and cancer, saying hundreds of studies have established that glyphosate is safe.

Monsanto spokesman Scott Partridge said the company will appeal. Partridge said scientific studies and two government agencies have concluded that Roundup does not cause cancer.

“We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family,” Partridge said. “We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others.”

Johnson used Roundup and a similar product, Ranger Pro, as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district, his lawyers said. He sprayed large quantities from a 50-gallon tank attached to a truck, and during gusty winds, the product would cover his face, said Brent Wisner, one of his attorneys.

Once, when a hose broke, the weed killer soaked his entire body.

Johnson read the label and even contacted the company after developing a rash but was never warned it could cause cancer, Wisner said. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014.

“The simple fact is he is going to die. It’s just a matter of time,” Wisner told the jury in his opening statement last month.

But George Lombardi, an attorney for Monsanto, said non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma takes years to develop, so Johnson’s cancer must have started well before he began working at the school district.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Roundup’s active ingredient is safe for people when used in accordance with label directions.

However, the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classified it as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. California added glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

Johnson’s attorneys sought and won $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million of the $373 million they wanted in punitive damages.

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RCMP in Burnaby, BC, say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled today

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BURNABY, B.C. — RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Police in Burnaby say in a release that large structures at the protest camp, known as Camp Cloud, will be dismantled and the area cleaned up.

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The release says police do not expect what they call violence or disorder while the injunction is being enforced.

Protesters said Monday that several members were prepared to protect a sacred fire that’s been burning around the clock at the site, although the injunction specifically says it should be extinguished due to dry conditions.

The camp has grown since November from a single trailer to include a two-storey wooden structure, a cabin, an outdoor shower, more than a dozen tents and multiple vehicles and trailers.

On Friday, a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove all structures, shelters and vehicles from the site outside a Kinder Morgan tank farm within 48 hours, but that deadline passed on Sunday.

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Burnaby RCMP arrest anti-pipeline demonstrators at Camp Cloud

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Burnaby RCMP moved in to enforce the injunction to remove the pipeline protesters on Burnaby Mountain on Thursday morning.

About five people have been arrested.

The demonstrators have been camped out on Burnaby Mountain for weeks, despite a court order to take down “Camp Cloud” by Sunday night.

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On Friday, a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction to remove the pipeline protest camp outside one of Kinder Morgan’s terminals.


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Kinder Morgan demonstrators ignore deadline to take down Camp Cloud

Burnaby RCMP say they have been monitoring the protest camp, located at the intersection of Underhill Avenue and Shellmont Street, adding officers have maintained a dialogue with the residents of the camp in the hopes they would obey the injunction.

“The plan is to stand our ground,” Camp Cloud resident George Manuel Jr. told Global News Monday. “We haven’t changed our tone. We are a peaceful group here.”

Burnaby RCMP say they are not expecting any violence or disorder during the injunction enforcement period but the public may see more equipment from the City of Burnaby and Burnaby RCMP removing the structures at the camp.

Photos of Camp Cloud and a second smaller camp nearby:

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Bell Media gets Viceland

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Bell Media has signed a new long-term agreement that will see it become the exclusive Canadian broadcaster for new programming from Vice Media network Viceland.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

The companies say the shows will debut on multiple Bell Media platforms, including CraveTV, in the fall.

They say new Vice shows will exclusively air on television on Bell Media channels, while it has also acquired the rights to more than 650 hours of Vice library programming.

Bell Media and Vice will also explore co-production opportunities.

The deal follows the end of a deal between Rogers Media Inc. and Vice earlier this year.

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