OAKLAND — An Alameda County Superior Court judge says she’s inclined to grant a new trial in a case that garnered a $2 billion verdict against Monsanto unless the plaintiffs, who claim that the company’s Roundup herbicide causes cancer, agree to lower damages.

“The court finds the evidence can support a finding by clear and convincing evidence that Monsanto committed malice, oppression, or fraud,” Judge Winifred Smith wrote in a tentative ruling Thursday. “The evidence did not show that Monsanto consciously disregarded a known or probable danger as shown in the public scientific literature.”

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