Photos With Daryl Hannah Are Among Monsanto’s List of Complaints in Latest Roundup Trial
The Recorder | Amanda Bronstad
In a motion filed Monday, Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, said it feared that plaintiffs attorney R. Brent Wisner, of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman in Los Angeles, would repeat some of the controversial remarks he made during his closing argument in the first trial, which ended with a $289 million verdict. Among those comments were that Monsanto executives at a corporate conference room at its headquarters in St. Louis had a “bunch of champagne on ice” waiting for their verdict.
But Monsanto also flagged a May 1 incident in which Baum Hedlund’s managing partner, Michael Baum, posed for photographs with Hannah and her husband, musician Neil Young, as jurors were filing out of the jury room after trial. Both celebrities are environmental advocates who have spoken out against Monsanto.
“This spectacle can be categorized as nothing other than an intentional attempt by plaintiffs’ counsel to use Mr. Young and Ms. Hannah’s celebrity status to improperly influence the jurors and pressure them to find for plaintiffs,” wrote Monsanto attorney Kirby Griffis, a partner at Hollingsworth in Washington, D.C. “Plaintiffs’ counsel also undoubtedly knew that seeing these celebrities associating with plaintiffs’ counsel would likely prompt jurors to research their involvement in the trial.”