In May 2021, Bayer AG announced that it may end residential glyphosate sales in the United States. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup. The announcement came the day after U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria rejected Bayer AG’s $2 billion settlement proposal to cover future claims that Roundup exposure led to victims’ cancer.
The $2 billion deal intended to cover two groups of Roundup users: those who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma but have not filed a lawsuit yet, and users who have been exposed to Roundup but haven’t developed cancer yet. Regarding the second group, Judge Chhabria said that the deal was “clearly unreasonable” for them because, in order to receive compensation, victims would have to make two major sacrifices:
First, although victims could opt out of the compensation program and file a lawsuit against Monsanto, the victims give up their right to seek punitive damages against the company. Given the amount of damages awarded in the three previous Roundup trials, that could be a lot of money for victims to give up. Second, the deal calls for a panel of scientists to determine whether Roundup causes cancer and the results could be used by either party. Monsanto likely wants the science panel because it lost the previous three trials and the issue of current expert testimony regarding Roundup causing cancer weighs heavily in the plaintiffs’ favor.
Judge Chhabria commented: “The deal would substantially diminish the company’s settlement exposure and litigation exposure at the back end, eliminating punitive damages and potentially increasing its chances of winning trials on compensatory damages. It would accomplish far less for Roundup users who have not been diagnosed with NHL- and not nearly as much as attorneys pushing this deal contend.”
After the federal judge’s ruling, Bayer AG said: “We have legal and commercial options that together will achieve a similar result in mitigating future litigation risk, and we will pursue them as quickly as possible. Significantly, the weight of scientific evidence and the conclusions of all expert regulators worldwide continue to support the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides.”
Roundup Lawsuits Mount
Bayer AG wants to end the years of litigation that have led to approximately 125,000 claims that Roundup has caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The $9.6 billion settlement announced in June 2020 intends to resolve 96,000 of those claims.
Three cases have already gone to trial and each has spelled disaster for Bayer AG. In August 2018, a California state court awarded $289 million to school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson after determining that glyphosate caused his cancer. The jury determined that Monsanto had failed to adequately warn consumers about the risks. In March 2019, a jury in San Francisco federal court awarded Edwin Hardeman, a homeowner who used Roundup on his property, $80 million. In May 2019, a jury awarded more than $2 billion to Alva and Albert Piliod who argued that decades of Roundup usage caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although all three monetary awards were later reduced by judges and Bayer AG has appealed the verdicts, the losses are still staggering for the company.
How GoldenbergLaw Can Help You
If you or a loved one developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using or being exposed to Roundup, contact the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw. Our team has over 30 years of experience providing the Gold standard of advocacy to our clients.