San Francisco is a great place to file a lawsuit if you are anti-science and that is why when a fellow with cancer claimed it was due to a weedkiller, the federal multidistrict litigation lawsuit was filed there.
Much of the public may not be aware of this, but a jury trial requires no scientific evidence. It is really just about emotion. So if a lawyer claims that Science Is A Vast Corporate Conspiracy and asks paid experts if there is any chance a weedkiller that acts on a biological pathway found only in plants could, in the entire multiverse, including the one where Spider-Man is a cartoon pig, cause cancer in humans, well, San Francisco people probably don't know enough science to disagree and they will stick it to scientists and award $80 million. That wasn't the record, either. Another California jury tried to give a couple $2 billion.
San Francisco tried to ban Happy Meals and golf to save the planet. They think fracking natural gas will cause the earth to deflate. They'll believe anything.
The jury verdicts made for big news in outlets like Mother Jones that employ well-known Deniers For Hire who collude with Roundup's competitors in the organic industry. Organic industry trade groups like the oddly-named US Right To Know, who manage the University of San Francisco conspiracy repository IndustryDocs, shouted it using all of their Twitterbots, Russians sites like Sputnik and Russia Today proclaimed America was doomed, but lawyers for the defendant couldn't have been that worried.
Juries can award whatever they want, even cosmic amounts, but even the San Francisco trial judge immediately knocked it down to $25 million. He couldn't overturn their belief that Roundup may somehow cause cancer - when EPA and every scientific body says otherwise - but he knew that punitive damages of 1500% were going to get struck down, and perhaps the entire case with it if that happened, so he reduced it, hoping the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, having no rule of law reason to strike it down, might let the $25 million stand.
On to appeals court. In appeals court, science does matter, but so does venue and that is where being in San Francisco is key. A company can argue all they want that putting a warning label about cancer on a product that doesn't cause cancer would be not just false advertising but in violation of federal law, yet all a few appointed judges in America's most left-wing state have to do is say that false advertising is allowed if they choose to believe wacky epidemiologists at IARC or Ramazzini Institute over scientists. Then EPA is only creating "guidelines."
It doesn't make a lot of sense. EPA only issues "guidelines" when it comes to things like product safety, yet California asks permission from EPA to exempt itself from EPA rules on emissions? Why would they need to get permission in writing, if they are only guidelines?
There is no point in asking, a court does not have to obey rules of logic any more than it does science.
The Ninth did as was expected and upheld the drastically reduced penalty, which trial lawyers hope opens the way for more lawsuits, and more money for them, before the Supreme Court accepts science over studies where rats were overdosed and strikes it down completely.
They will. The most comprehensive study of farm workers, people who use glyphosate more than anyone, ever done found no greater cancer instances. The science has spoken.
During the COVID-19 pandemic it's been ironic to watch progressive journalists in California berate the public who are unsure about getting a vaccine, when it is progressive stances against food, chemicals, and medicine that created the chemophobia culture we now must battle to beat coronavirus.
There is a reason vaccines have to be exempt from casual trial cases like this. None would ever get invented if trial lawyers were able to declare open season on science and use friendly courts to get rich with vaccines like they can chemicals.
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