Bayer needs ‘Ph.D-type jurors’ to win upcoming glyphosate-cancer trials, expert says

Image: Yost Legal Group
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In August, a San Francisco County Superior Court jury ordered Monsanto [now owned by Bayer] to pay former school groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson $250 million in punitive damages and nearly $40 million in compensatory damages after finding he contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from using Roundup.

Johnson’s case was the first to go to trial among thousands brought nationwide against Monsanto by plaintiffs who claim they developed cancer or other serious illnesses from exposure to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup.

Gary Baise, a principal attorney at OFW Law in Washington, D.C. – who specializes in Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and National Environmental Policy Act litigation, as well as agricultural corporate governance issues – contends that Monsanto needs to overcome the “reptile theory” in order to succeed in court.

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“What the plaintiff lawyers try to do is appeal to your basic feelings, gut feelings,” he said …. They appeal to basic fears, wants, needs, all based on research done on our brain.”

When Baise tries a case that is heavy in complex science, he said he works to pick jurors who have a high school or college education that was strong in biology or chemistry, and then plays to those people during trial.

“In trying a case like this, I would have tried to get every Ph.D.,” he said.

Read full, original article: As Monsanto prepares for 2019 Roundup trials, legal expert suggests choosing Ph.D-type jurors

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