Bayer has agreed with plaintiff's motion to withdrawn to settlement proposals related to Roundup herbicide lawsuits after the judge in the case questioned provisions of the agreement that would have created a scientific review panel. A Federal District Court Judge recently called into question the fairness of Bayer’s proposed nearly $10 billion Roundup settlement.
Judge Vince Chhabria said in court documents that he is tentatively inclined to deny the motion to approve the settlement. Because of this, Bayer supports plaintiff council's decision to delay the settlement proceedings to address Chhabria’s concerns.
“The withdrawal will enable the parties to more comprehensively address the questions recently raised by the Federal District Court Judge Vince Chhabria of the Norther District of California who presides over the federal Roundup litigation,” Bayer said in a statement provided to AgWeb.
Bayer and plaintiffs will need to address creating a scientific panel to assess if glyphosate causes cancer. There are conflicting reports from different agencies on whether or not the herbicide is a carcinogen, the World Health Organization's IARC claims it is a carcinogen, while EPA as recently as this year stated there are no human health risks with registered uses of glyphosate.
“Even with the consent of both sides, it’s questionable whether it would be constitutional to delegate the function of deciding the general causation question from judges and juries to a panel of scientists,” Chhabria said in a recent court filing.
In addition, he questioned whether or not future claimants should be bound to a ruling by a scientific panel when ‘science may be evolving.’
“Bayer remains strongly committed to a resolution that simultaneously addresses both the current litigation on reasonable terms and is a viable solution to manage and resolve potential future litigation. Mass tort settlement agreements like this are complex and may require some adjustments along the way, but the company continues to believe that a settlement on appropriate terms is in the best interest of Bayer and all of its stakeholders,” Bayer continued in its statement.
The $400 million dicamba drift settlement and more than $800 million PCB settlements are not affected by this delay.
Read more on the proposed settlement here: