Bayer Agrees to $10.9 Billion Settlement of Roundup Cancer Claims
Last week proved to be quite the roller coaster for Bayer/Monsanto.
The week started on a high note for Bayer, when a U.S. federal appeals court blocked California from requiring Bayer AG to include a cancer warning label on its glyphosate-based, Roundup weed killer product. This decision stems from 2017 litigation by more than a dozen agricultural groups, together with Bayer, who sued California for a labeling injunction arguing the warning label threatened significant disruptions to the U.S. food supply chain if farmers are no longer able to use glyphosate.
While the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm determined glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen” in 2015, other regulators worldwide have determined glyphosate as non-carcinogenic. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge William Shubb concluded that state’s label for Roundup is not backed up by regulatory findings and called California’s cancer warning misleading.
While seen as a win for Bayer, its victory proved short-lived when, last Wednesday, Bayer agreed to settleapproximately 75 percent of the total 125,000 Roundup lawsuits to the tune of $10.9 billion. While the settlement does not include admission of liability or wrongdoing, it brings closures to nearly 95 percent of the cases currently set for trial. As part of the settlement, Bayer will pay up to $9.6 billion to settle all the existing cases, including the 30,000 that haven't yet been settled. Bayer will also include $1.25 billion for resolving future claims, which will be governed by a class agreement, still subject to court approval.
Part of the sum will also be used to fund a scientific panel that would ascertain whether glyphosate causes cancer, to ensure the Roundup legal troubles are settled for good. Settlement terms include that if the panel determines glyphosate does not cause cancer, plaintiffs in that part of the class agreement will be prohibited from filing any future lawsuit against Bayer.
Bayer is optimistic this settlement will provide clarity to its investors and end the drag this litigation has seemingly had on its stock price over the last couple years. In the meantime, if you suspect you may have contracted cancer as a result of your exposure to Roundup, you should contact an experienced law firm right away to explore your rights.
Last week, Bayer agreed to settle approximately 75 percent of the total 125,000 Roundup lawsuits.