Bayer, the German company that owns the weed killer Roundup, is in the middle of trying to contain billions in legal costs. The company has recently filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse an appeals court verdict made against them. Currently, the appeals court upheld the damages to a customer, Edwin Hardeman, who blamed Bayer’s glyphosate-based weed killer for his cancer diagnosis. In addition, there have been multiple similar cases that put the entire company at risk.
Bayer has lost a third appeal against verdicts that sided with roundup users, awarding tens of millions of dollars to each of the plaintiffs. Bayer has since asked the Supreme Court to review the verdict of the federal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that sided with Hardeman.
Nonetheless, Bayer continues to sell the product and they argue that the cancer claims over Roundup go against the science and regulatory clearance of experts. However, according to a 2015 report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), it was found that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic” and caused cancer in lab test animals and damage to DNA in human cells. Jurors involved in the Roundup cases have overwhelmingly sided with the WHO’s findings.
Since Bayer acquired the pesticide-maker Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion, they have been plagued with Roundup-related lawsuits. The company agreed to a settlement with plaintiffs last year, but failed to win court approval for the settlement because they intended to keep the product on the market, complicating potential future cases. Bayer took additional litigation provisions of $4.5 billion to cover unfavorable rulings by the Supreme Court on top of their existing $11.6 billion set aside for settlements and litigation related to the matter. The company has stated they intend to replace glyphosate in weed killers for the U.S. residential market but will continue selling Roundup to farmers.
Currently, after years of delays, there has been a $10 billion Roundup settlement. The Multi-District Litigation (MDL) created by a federal judiciary panel allows victims’ lawyers to share resources to further investigate these cases that will likely continue to come up. In September, the MDL judge ordered both sides to prepare a group of 220 “wave 4” cases for trial. Fact sheets were due by mid-September and the expert discovery deadline is set for May of 2022. The first group of trials should begin by next summer, unless Bayer achieves a settlement first.
If your client believes their cancer diagnosis stems from using Roundup or some other product by Bayer, you will likely have to comb through hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of their medical records. This process could be made simple by becoming a member of National Record Retrieval. We only work with lawyers who represent victims of negligence, so take advantage of all the benefits that our system provides. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.