Bayer Settles Roundup, Dicamba and PCB Water Lawsuits for $10 Billion

( Darrell Smith )

Wednesday Bayer reached a settlement with plaintiffs in its Roundup, glyphosate, lawsuits and litigation concerning dicamba drift and PCB water. The company agreed to a total payment of $10.1 billion to $10.9 billion.

Bayer provided the following statement:

“Bayer announced today a series of agreements that will substantially resolve major outstanding Monsanto litigation, including U.S. Roundup product liability litigation, dicamba drift litigation and PCB water litigation. The main feature is the U.S. Roundup resolution that will bring closure to approximately 75% of the current Roundup litigation involving approximately 125,000 filed and unfiled claims overall. The resolved claims include all plaintiff law firms leading the Roundup federal multi-district litigation (MDL) or the California bellwether cases, and those representing approximately 95% of the cases currently set for trial, and establish key values and parameters to guide the resolution of the remainder of the claims as negotiations advance. The resolution also puts in place a mechanism to resolve potential future claims efficiently. The company will make a payment of $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve the current Roundup litigation, including an allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation.”

Included in the settlement is a payment of up to $400 million for dicamba drift litigation and $820 million for PCB water litigation exposure. The separate class action settlement will need to be approved by Judge Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

In 2015 the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found ‘convincing evidence’ that glyphosate caused cancer in lab animals. Those results have been disputed—in fact, a court recently ruled that California could not list glyphosate as a cancer agent based on numerous EPA and other agency reports that claim the product is safe.

IARC claimed there is ‘limited evidence’ that glyphosate can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer in humans. This is the basis in which many of the lawsuits were filed.

“It has been a long journey, but we are pleased that we’ve achieved justice for the tens of thousands of people who, through no fault of their own, are suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using a product Monsanto assured them was safe,” said Robin Greenwald, practice group chair, environmental pollution and consumer protection at Weitz and Luxenburg, one of the plaintiff attorneys that reached a settlement today.

Bayer purchased Monsanto for $63 billion and took on the glyphosate lawsuits in 2018. If the settlement is approved, this should mark the end of this chapter of lawsuits for the company. The company says funding was sourced from free cash flow and a recent Animal Health divestment.

“First and foremost, the RoundupTM settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” said Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer. “It resolves most current claims and puts in place a clear mechanism to manage risks of potential future litigation.”

Read the history on Roundup Lawsuits here:

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