In seeking to reverse $2 billion jury verdict, Monsanto says plaintiffs’ counsel misconduct was ‘egregious and rampant’
Northern California Record | By Rich Peters
Monsanto bolstered its argument that a jury trial resulting in a $2 billion verdict in May was tainted by misconduct in briefs filed Tuesday calling for a new trial or judgment notwithstanding verdict (JNOV).
The new filings support last month’s post-trial motions in the case of Alva and Alberta Pilliod, the Bay Area couple that claims that Roundup was a substantial factor in causing their non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL).
In seeking a new trial, Monsanto identifies what it believes was improper conduct by the Pilliods’ legal team.
“First…the misconduct was egregious and rampant,” states the brief filed in Alameda County Superior Court. “Second, the misconduct persisted despite sustained objections and repeated admonishments from the Court. Even Plaintiffs admit the Court had to ‘rein in Counsel when he got heated during rebuttal.’ Third, the atmosphere of the trial was unnecessarily theatrical, with celebrity appearances in the courtroom and counsel’s dramatic demonstrations in which he pretended to be fearful of a Roundup bottle that he knew only contained water. Finally, counsel’s misconduct actually prejudiced the jury, as demonstrated by the excessive punitive damage verdict, which bears no relationship to the evidence or the compensatory damages.”