Some of the ongoing Bayer litigation has reached a resolution with approximately 75 percent of the litigation involving Roundup coming to a close. The settlement involves about 125,000 filed and unfiled claims against the company. Bayer has said that it will be making a payment of up to $10.9 billion to resolve any current cases against the weedkiller Roundup.
“First and foremost, the Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said in a statement. “It resolves most current claims and puts in place a clear mechanism to manage risks of potential future litigation. It is financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multi-year litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business.”
The Bayer litigation settlement also addresses other concerns, such as dicamba drift and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in water. The company will be providing a payment of up to $400 million in relation to dicamba exposure and approximately $820 million to resolve PCB pollution claims. Multiple cases against the company are not covered in the settlement and will be proceeding through the appeals process.
The settlement agreement also calls for the establishment of an independent Class Science Panel and the creation of a class of potential future plaintiffs. Bayer will be spending up to $1.25 billion for the panel to research whether Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The research process is expected to take several years. Any determination made by the panel will be binding for any future litigation brought by the newly created class of potential future plaintiffs.
Bayer has been addressing lawsuits since it initially acquired Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, back in 2018 for $63 billion. Monsanto had already been involved in lawsuits alleging that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can cause cancer. Bayer has previously been unsuccessful in obtaining favorable verdicts in other lawsuits related to glyphosate.
The Bayer litigation settlement comes on the heels of a ruling from U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb, blocking California from requiring Bayer to label its glyphosate products with a cancer warning. The federal judge found that the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s determination that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen was not enough to outweigh the numerous other evaluations which contradict that assessment.