Bayer suffers Supreme Court setback as it tries to end Roundup lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Germany’s Bayer’s appeal of a landmark ruling awarding $25 million to a man who claims the herbicide Roundup caused cancer, a move that could force the group to spend billions of euros in compensation to customers .

The decision thwarted Bayer’s plans to stem a wave of lawsuits since its $63 billion acquisition of agrichemical group Monsanto in 2018.With more than 30,000 claims still unresolved, Bayer set aside $4.5 billion last year, while Appeal to the Supreme Court Review the case won by Californian Edwin Hardeman.

This payment is in addition to approximately $11.5 billion Bayer Has been forced to put existing and future Roundup lawsuits on hold, with more than 107,000 lawsuits settled to date. The company has largely delayed resolving further cases while waiting for its petition to the Supreme Court to be accepted.

“Bayer respectfully disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision,” the group said in a statement Tuesday. “The company believes that the decision undermines the company’s ability to rely on official action taken by expert regulators.”

Bayer’s shares fell nearly 4 percent after the court decided against the appeal.

The group had previously pledged to create a “voluntary claims resolution scheme” to deal with existing claims if the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal. Although it won the last four Roundup cases that have gone to trial, Bayer may now seek a quick settlement with claimants to avoid a protracted lawsuit, according to a person familiar with the group’s plans.

Hardman sued Monsanto in 2016, alleging that his habitual use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that there was no warning about it on the product label.

His case relies on a 2015 decision by the World Health Organization’s agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, to classify the ingredient glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Bayer has long disputed the IARC findings and appealed to the Supreme Court last August, saying it was not obliged to put a warning label on Roundup because “the almost universal scientific and regulatory consensus is that the product does not cause cancer.” “The EPA has approved the product for sale.

The company said the argument, initially supported by Trump administration lawyers, “could effectively end a potential future [Roundup] lawsuit” if accepted by a majority of Supreme Court justices. It essentially suspended the settlement pending a court decision.

However, Bayer’s hopes were dealt a blow by the Biden administration in May, when U.S. Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar submitted a brief recommendation that the Supreme Court refuse to review the Hardeman case and Disagree with the organization’s arguments.

Last year, Bayer announced it would stop selling glyphosate products to U.S. retail consumers starting in 2023.

Source link