Bayer to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle the bulk of Roundup weedkiller cancer lawsuits

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Bayer AG, after more than a year of talks, agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle close to 100,000 U.S. lawsuits claiming that its widely-used weedkiller Roundup caused cancer, resolving litigation that has pummeled the company’s share price.

The German drugs and pesticides maker has come to terms with about 75% of the 125,000 filed and unfiled claims overall, it said in a statement on Wednesday of the deal to end legal disputes it inherited with its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto in 2018.

The settled cases over Roundup and other glyphosate-based weedkillers account for about 95% of those currently set for trial, it added.

“The Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said. “Unfortunately, we have to pay an awful lot of money for a product which is perfectly regulated.”

The company said it 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.

Bayer did not admit liability or wrongdoing.

“Bayer is not getting complete relief, but trying to do as much as it can to calm uncertainty,” said Adam Zimmerman, a law professor at Loyola Law School who has followed the litigation.

The deal dwarfs previous out-of-court product liability settlements, such as Merck & Co’s $5 billion deal to end litigation over its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, and Bayer deals worth $2 billion to settle claims of harm caused by its Yasmin and Yaz birth control pills.

Ken Feinberg, who was appointed settlement mediator by a federal judge more than a year ago, said that while nearly 25,000 claims remained unsettled there will be no more trials as cases settle in coming months.

“Bayer wisely decided to settle the litigation rather than roll the dice in American court,” said Feinberg, who has mediated other high-profile disputes, including over the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and Volkswagen’s VWOG_p.DE diesel emissions scandal. Read More


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