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A French court has ordered Germany’s Bayer to pay compensation of some 11,000 euros to a crop farmer for the accidental inhalation of a weedkiller produced by its subsidiary Monsanto, ending a 15-year legal battle, his lawyer and the company said on Thursday.

“11,000 euros for so much sacrifice,” the farmer, Paul Françoistold franceinfo radio. Media reports said he had asked for more than 1 million euros in compensation.

François had subsequently argued that the fumes he inhaled from the weedkiller Lasso, a product that was withdrawn from the French market, caused neurological problems, including memory loss, fainting and headaches.

In a 2019 interview with FRANCE 24, François said he hoped his lawsuit would “show multinationals like Monsanto that they can’t continue to act with impunity. That a simple citizen can take them to court and have them sentenced”.

>> Paul François, the French farmer taking on Monsanto

Bayer France said in a statement that the sum awarded to the farmer was less than 1% of what he had requested. The company reiterated that judicial experts had not recognized any of the “serious pathologies” alleged by François.

The exact amount of the damages was 11.135 euros, the farmer’s lawyer told Reuters.

France’s highest court in 2020 rejected an appeal by Lasso maker Monsanto, which had henceforth become a subsidiary of Bayer, opening the way for the court in the city of Lyon to decide what damages should be given to the farmer.

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters)



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