Bayer Wins First Roundup Cancer Lawsuit

  • Bayer's $2B Proposal For Roundup Lawsuits Settlement Rejected

Bayer wins a Roundup cancer lawsuit after the family of a 10-year-old boy who got diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma failed to provide relevant evidence claiming that the weedkiller caused the disease.

As per the lawsuit, the parents of the boy claimed that the child got exposed to the weedkiller, which was sprayed in the yard around their home in Walnut, California. The parents claimed that it eventually resulted in the child to diagnose with Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

However, the parents failed to provide relevant evidence to prove the weedkiller caused the disease, which resulted in the first win for the company in Roundup lawsuits. Earlier, three trials resulted in nearly $200 million combined settlements against Bayer and Monsanto, as the juries found that the companies were ignorant about the linkage of Roundup with cancer.

Last year, Bayer announced to pay more than $10 billion to settle about 100,000 cases. Most of these settlements have not been accepted by the plaintiffs and are set to go before the juries in the coming years.

More than 120,00 Roundup lawsuits have been brought before the federal jury against Bayer and its Monsanto subsidiary, claiming that the company glyphosate-based weed killer causes cancer. The lawsuits even allege that the company withheld the risks associated with the weedkiller for profits. Although the company has paid billions in settlements to resolve thousands of cases, more trials have been scheduled in the courts across the U.S.

Earlier, Bayer lost a third appeal against the U.S. court verdicts over the case of glyphosate weedkiller. The court has awarded damages to customers diagnosed with cancer due to pesticides containing glyphosates. 

On Aug 9, 2021, a California court supported the $86 million verdict where Bayer was accused of a couple's cancer. In February 2020, Bayer filed an appeal stating that sound science does not reconcile the verdict.

After the verdict, Bayer made the statement that it respectfully disagrees with the court’s ruling, which is not supported by evidence at trial. Bayer also stated that the company is taking all measures to make Roundup safe for its users.

The German corporate giant has also confirmed to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court this month for reviewing a similar Roundup case that went in favor of the user.

In the previous month, Bayer announced a $4.5 billion additional litigation provision to prepare for an unfa vorable ruling by the Supreme Court. The herbicide manufacturer has also kept aside $11.6 billion for settlements and litigation in the matter.

Bayer stated it has a clear intention to continue selling its product in the U.S. market. To contain legal damage, the weedkiller manufacturer has also planned to replace the cancer-causing ingredient glyphosate with other active ingredients.

In a similar suit, where a A 70-year-old Californian woman sued Bayer by making allegations that after regular usage of the company's Roundup weedkiller, she developed Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

As per the court documents, the plaintiff got diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2017 as she used Roundup on her property for more than 30 years. The old age and deteriorating health of the plaintiff resulted in the fast-tracking of the lawsuit for an early outcome. The outcomes, evidence, and testimony can be used by the juries in other potential bellwether trials.

It will be the first Roundup trial to be held since 2020, as most of the U.S. judicial system shut down its operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is looking forward to settling the Roundup cases rather than uncertain jury trials.

Bayer has even announced that it will keep aside $4.5 billion as a reserve to cover the costs for the upcoming trials and ongoing settlements.

120,000 Non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) cases have been filed by former Roundup users against Bayer and its subsidiary Monsanto. All the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuits allege the manufacturer withheld the risks associated with the weedkiller from the users for making a profit.

Earlier, Bayer suffered huge losses in Roundup trials held in 2018 and 2019. The company has even agreed to pay billions to settle the upcoming lawsuits that will go for a trial before the state and federal juries.

All the Roundup lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California for a coordinated discovery of evidence and testimony. The judge is even preparing to resolve numerous cases. He has ordered the plaintiffs to take part in a mediation program that will help to get a settlement for every plaintiff involved in the litigation.

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