A former groundskeeper for a California school district is set to become the first person to take Monsanto to trial over allegations it suppressed evidence that its Roundup herbicides have cancer-causing properties.
DeWayne Johnson worked as a groundskeeper from 2012 to 2015. In that role, he sprayed Roundup herbicides on school properties. Johnson was healthy when he started the job, but in August 2014, he received a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Johnson's lawsuit alleges that Roundup caused his cancer, and that Monsanto was aware of the medical risks posed by the herbicide but covered it up through a campaign of misinformation.
If successful, the lawsuit could be the first in a line of litigation for the global seed and chemical company. If it fails, cases similar to Johnson's will be significantly weakened.