Bayer announced that it would not appeal the verdict in a landmark lawsuit over glyphosate and cancer. The German drugmaker has lost three major lawsuits this year, putting pressure on its leadership to settle with the families who filed suit against them.
A third loss for Bayer in its Roundup cancer lawsuit has brought the pressure to settle up. The company is facing a $2 billion jury verdict and an appeal that could cost them even more money. Read more in detail here: roundup lawsuit.
Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup, according to Bayer, does not cause cancer. So far, jurors have disagreed with the agro-giant in three different lawsuits, the most recent of which was a $2 billion California decision against Bayer in May 2019. And, based on the evidence presented in that case, the safety of glyphosate, the main component in Roundup, may not be the most pressing concern going ahead.
Bayer will try to end its losing trend in court in the upcoming Roundup trial, which will take place in August in St. Louis County Court, where legal precedent is not on their favor. Meanwhile, Bayer is under pressure from its massive losses to date, as well as falling stock prices and court-ordered mediation sessions, to reach a settlement with the nearly 13,400 plaintiffs who claim Roundup caused their cancer.
Bayer has lost three trials in a row.
In the three Roundup cancer claims that have gone to trial, juries have not been kind to Bayer.
A jury in San Francisco’s Superior Court ruled that Roundup caused groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s cancer in August 2018, and sentenced Bayer to pay $289 million in damages (later lowered to $78 million). The second trial, the first federal Roundup trial, resulted in a $80 million judgment. However, these convictions pale in contrast to the $2 billion judgement made by a California jury on May 13, 2019 to plaintiffs Alberta and Alva Pilliod.
Following the judgement, which was the eighth-largest product defect jury award in US history, Bayer said it was “disappointed with the jury’s decision and will appeal.” Citing a recent EPA assessment, the corporation restated its position that “glyphosate-based products may be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.”
The EPA’s position on glyphosate’s non-carcinogenicity, on the other hand, contradicts not just jurists’ views, but also the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which states that Roundup is “probably carcinogenic.”
The ‘Roundup Cocktail’ Argument Is Effective
Bayer’s recent Roundup trial loss is important in more ways than one. A fresh point made during the trial concerning Roundup’s non-glyphosate components may have influenced the outcome. If this is the case, Bayer’s chances of succeeding in future trials look to be slim.
Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod’s lawyers stated that Roundup includes “much more hazardous” components that “have a synergistic impact with glyphosate,” according to Law360. One of those components, according to a toxicologist expert witness for the plaintiffs, is a surfactant called polyoxyethylene tallow amine, or POEA, which helps Roundup uniformly cover the waxy surfaces of leaves. Roundup has 10–15 percent POEA, which is prohibited in Europe, and 40–60 percent glyphosate, according to the toxicologist. POEA is roughly 40 times more hazardous than glyphosate, and when the two are combined, POEA is 50 times more harmful, he stated. In toxicology, this reaction is referred to as “synergy.”
Shareholders are enraged.
The stock price of Bayer plunged to its lowest level since June 2012 the day after a jury gave the corporation a $2 billion loss. With the businesses’ merger in June of last year, Bayer inherited Monsanto’s Roundup liabilities, which the company’s management is said to be dissatisfied with. Some investors are pushing for Bayer CEO Werner Baumann, who pushed for the Monsanto purchase, to leave. Bayer might wind up paying $20 billion to settle Roundup lawsuits, according to financial website Seeking Alpha.
Feinstein is appointed by the judge to mediate the Roundup settlement talks.
Bayer has been forced to commence mediation discussions with the federal court supervising the consolidated Roundup cancer proceedings in the hopes of resolving the nearly 13,400 Roundup claims filed in the United States.
Kenneth R. Feinberg has been assigned to arbitrate settlement discussions by US District Judge Vince Chhabria. Judge Chhabria ordered Feinberg to meet with Bayer and plaintiffs’ counsel within 14 days after the hearing on May 22. Feinberg has mediated cases including 9/11 first responders, Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate,” the BP Deepwater Horizon oil leak, Catholic priest sex abuse, and GM ignition switches.
What Does Bayer’s Future Hold?
In August and September 2019, two further Roundup cancer studies will be held in St. Louis. The move from California to Monsanto’s birthplace seems to be beneficial, but the politics are convoluted. Despite Monsanto’s significant ties in the St. Louis community, which might help it with local jurors, consumer group U.S. Right To Know points out that St. Louis is recognized as a plaintiff-friendly venue, with a history of huge judgements against companies.
Sharlean Gordon is the plaintiff in the forthcoming August trial. Gordon is said to have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2006 and has endured years of grueling treatment. Gordon’s lawyers want to call Monsanto experts to testify in front of a jury in person, something that did not happen in the three California trials.
After using Roundup, did you acquire non-Hodgkin lymphoma? For a free legal case evaluation, please contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average settlement for the Roundup lawsuit?
A: The average settlement for the Roundup lawsuit is $2.3 billion, and that number is rapidly growing to over $4 billion as more cases are filed by different plaintiffs with similar claims.
What is the status of the Roundup settlement?
A: The Roundup homeowners have been offered $6.3 million in settlements, but they are waiting to see if the landowners will settle as well before deciding whether or not to accept it.
Who qualifies for Roundup settlement?
A: Any US resident who worked in agriculture and made less than $3000 per year at their job.