Paul François v. Monsanto

RG 17/06027 // 15-25.651 // 19-18689
April 26, 2007
Final judgment
France, Lyon

Paul François
François Lafforgue

Civil court
Lasso, Herbicide, Alachlor
That Monsanto be declared as responsible for the plaintiff's health problems.
Court of Cassation of Lyon, France
Court of Cassation

July 7, 2017
The Court of Cassation confirms Monsanto's indictment. The Court of Appeal had said that Monsanto is liable for the damage caused to Mr. François; orders Monsanto to pay the sum of €50,000.

Paul François sued Monsanto for intoxication and illness related to the lack of labelling of the Lasso herbicide and won at first instance and then on appeal. On 7 July 2017, the Court of Cassation criticized the Court of Appeals for not having checked whether Monsanto's liability for defective products was applicable. It confirmed that Monsanto has failed on its obligation to inform about the risks of inhalating Lasso. The case is sent to the Appeals Court to determine the applicability of the responsibility for defective products. The pleadings before the Court of Appeal took place on 2/6/2019. 4/11/2019, the Court of Appeal decides once again (for the third time) to hold Monsanto liable. Nevertheless, the issue of the amount of the compensation for Paul François (claimed 1 million €) is referred to Lyon First Instance Court. Bayer/Monsanto's lawyers obtained a new appeal in cassation in July 2019, and the court therefore granted itself an additional period of 4 months to conclude on the compensation. On 10/21/2020, the French Supreme Court rejects Monsanto's appeal against the order of April 11, 2019. Monsanto's liability is therefore definitively recognized in this case. and the judicial court of Lyon must decide the question of compensation. On November 7, 2022, the Lyon judicial court condemned Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, to pay Paul François the sum of 11,135 euros. This judgment recognizes that "the existence of a harmful event caused by the defect of a product is definitively established", but represents a pittance in view of the irreversible health problems of Paul François and the 15 years of legal proceedings. It actually endorses the impunity of the company!