The Miller Firm serves as lead trial counsel in the first Roundup / Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma case to go to trial. Trial began June 18, 2018, and the Plaintiff is currently putting on evidence in his “case in chief.” The trial has been covered extensively by most national and international news outlets. It is generally considered to be a harbinger for the many thousands of other trials that will take place across the country in the coming years. Mr. Johnson is represented at trial by Miller Firm trial attorneys David J. Dickens, Timothy Litzenburg, and Jeffrey Travers. They are joined by their colleagues from the Baum Hedlund firm in Los Angeles, R. Brent Wisner and Pedram Esfandiary in presenting the Plaintiff’s case to the jury of ordinary San Franciscans.
Miller client Lee Johnson filed his case in San Francisco Superior Court in early 2016. Monsanto moved the case to federal court early on in an effort to keep it from progressing; however, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered the case back to state court, where Mr. Johnson and his attorneys had properly filed it. In mid 2017, due to his rapidly worsening non Hodgkin lymphoma and the opinion of two physicians that he might not survive six months, Mr. Johnson invoked CCP § 36. California is the only state in the nation where a dying litigant has an inviolable right to see his trial before he dies.
Lee Johnson was the Integrated Pest Manager for the Benicia Unified School District, in the north bay area of California. Beginning June 2012, he sprayed Roundup (and related product RangerPro) in massive quantities on school district grounds. In August 2014, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. In March 2015, the World Health Organization, after more than a year of study on the subject, announced what Monsanto had known for years, that Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate are both “probable human carcinogen[s].”
Opening statements took place Monday July 10, 2018; the trial is expected to last into August. The Miller Firm has multiple trial settings in 2019 and 2020, and expects to take Monsanto to trial across the country many times in the coming years.