After facing thousands of lawsuits for claims that its herbicide, Roundup, causes cancer, Bayer has agreed to settle for over $10 billion to resolve them. The decision to settle the cases was based on the company’s desire to end a long period of uncertainty, according to Bayer CEO, Werner Baumann.
“The decision to resolve the Roundup litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of health care and food,” Baumann said in a statement. “It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”
However, the company has not admitted to any wrongdoing in the matter.
A Settlement for Past and Future Damages
The company will pay out between $8.8 billion and $9.6 billion to settle all existing cases, but will also provide another $1.25 billion for any subsequent litigation that should follow.
The settlement’s court-appointed mediator, Kenneth Feinberg, expressed that the deal was a “constructive and reasonable” resolution. He explained that the steps taken would help to bring closure to these cases over time.
A History of Similar Claims
This isn’t the first time that the German pharmaceuticals and chemical giant has faced this type of litigation. In 2018 Bayer purchased Monsanto, which then lost a lawsuit brought by the groundskeeper of a school. Dewayne Johnson claimed that the company’s weed-killer was to blame for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis.
Johnson had alleged that the company ignored warnings that its herbicide contained chemicals that could potentially cause cancer and then hid that fact from consumers. He was awarded almost $290 million in damages after the court found that Monsanto failed its duty to warn Johnson as well as other consumers of the risk.
The decision was appealed and although the damages were reduced to $78 million (due to what the appellate judge considered an overkill in punitive damages), the decision itself was upheld.
Last year a case ended in a similar manner after a California jury awarded more than $2 billion to a married couple claiming that Roundup was responsible for their illness. Upon appeal, those damages were reduced to $87 million.
Although Bayer eliminated the name Monsanto, it maintained the company’s brands, including them in its portfolio.
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If you or a loved one has developed cancer after consistent use of Roundup, it’s important to contact a dangerous/defective products attorney as soon as possible, as you may be entitled to financial compensation.
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