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Winifred Smith Alameda County Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith Alameda County Superior Court Judge.Photo: Hillary Jones-Mixon.8/04/2011.055-2011

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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Alaina Lancaster

Alaina Lancaster, based in San Francisco, covers disruptive trends and technologies shaping the future of law. She authors the weekly legal futurist newsletter What's Next. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @a_lancaster3

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