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Murdered Lawyers, Monsanto and Tobacco Rulings Top July Verdicts

From the president’s ex-lawyer to murdered ex-NFL stars, here are some notable verdicts from July.

Most Political Verdict: Judge orders Michael Cohen to Home Confinement After Retaliatory Imprisonment

A judge ruled Michael Cohen was improperly imprisoned and has since been sent home after the President’s former attorney was said to have only been returned to prison as retaliation, according to an article from CNBC. Cohen said he was only sent back to prison because he failed to guarantee he would not move forward with plans to publish a book about the President. As part of a program to reduce the prison population amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Cohen will serve his three-year sentence under home confinement.

Most Altered Verdict: Monsanto Damages Cut Again, Down to $21.5M Upon Appeal

MonsantoThe 1st District Court of Appeal in California upheld the verdict holding Monsanto’s weed killer responsible for the cancer diagnosis of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, but substantially cut the damages awarded in the case, according to an article from the Insurance Journal. After jurors originally awarded Johnson $289.2 million, a judge knocked that payout down to $78.5 million before the most recent decision to slash it to $21.5 million. The award was cut because California state law “doesn’t allow damages for reduced life expectancy.”

Most Retroactive Verdict: New Case Set for Killer of ex-Jet Joe McKnight’s After SCOTUS Bans Split-jury Rulings

Ronald Gasser's manslaughter conviction, as well as his three decade sentence, for the killing of ex-NFL player Joe McKnight has been vacated and a new trial ordered, according to an article from ESPN. The Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeal’s move comes on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibits split-jury verdicts. Gasser was convicted in 2018 by a 10-2 vote. The April ruling was applied retroactively to Gasser.  

Most Reversed Verdict: Appeals Court Reinstates $38M Police Shooting Verdict

A state appeals court ruled a Baltimore County judge was wrong to overturn a verdict awarding $38 million to the family of Korryn Gaines,” according to an article from The Baltimore Sun. Gaines was shot and killed by police in 2016 after an hours-long standoff partially broadcast on social media. It is unclear what portion of the award has been reinstated, although for now, the family’s attorney said it has reinstated in full. Per the article, it is unlikely the matter is resolved.

Most Smoking Verdict: Tobacco Verdict Stands in Florida Amid Claims of Misleading Ads

A $7.25 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Florida, according to an article from WUSF Public Media. The case stems from claims made by plaintiff Paul E. Rouse, who suffers from coronary artery disease after smoking two packs of cigarettes per day, that the tobacco company was “fraudulently concealing the dangers of smoking.” Rouse said he chose the company’s Winston filtered cigarettes based on advertisements indicating they were safer than other types of cigarettes.

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