My fight for justice goes on.
By Dewayne “Lee” Johnson Oct. 23, 2018.
The days following the court’s decision, I watched the footage play over and over. The jury stands up. The courtroom falls silent as they read the final verdict, “The plaintiff is to be awarded $250 million in punitive damages and $39.2 million in losses.” I remember feeling as if all the fluids in my body rushed out and immediately back in. I see my own reaction — shock, calm, a wave of relief. I am surprised by own composure. Is this what justice looks like?
When I pursued my case against the company, I was not seeking to become a rich man. I was not looking to become an activist or a martyr. I have always lived a very private life led by a few simple rules: Be humble, be kind, do good and good will come to you. So when wrong was done to me, when I contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, I was not merely seeking compensation; I wanted answers. Why me? What was happening to my body? What was this chemical “glyphosate,” and would it take my life when I still had so much left to live?
I needed answers, and not simply for my own peace of mind. I was a groundskeeper for many years. It was not just a job for me but a livelihood, a labor that brought me peace and the gratification that comes with making things beautiful. When I realized that every day for years I had been spraying this chemical — sometimes 150 gallons of it a day — across playgrounds not unlike the ones my kid frequented, something in me was stirred to action. If I could prove it caused me harm, then perhaps I could give people a chance to protect themselves and their own children. Maybe I could give them the chance that was taken away from me.
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