In late July and early August 2019, news broke that Bayer might be considering an $8 billion settlement to resolve cancer injury cases caused by Roundup®. Bayer owns Monsanto, which makes Roundup®, a popular herbicide that is used to keep weeds away from crops, lawns, and gardens.
Does Bayer Really Want to Settle Roundup® Cases?
Fortune Magazine reports that Bayer AG is willing to settle more than 18,000 outstanding Roundup® cancer cases for as much as $8 billion, according to people familiar with ongoing settlement negotiations. The people familiar with the ongoing talks were not authorized to speak on behalf of Bayer, but they indicated that the company suggested a settlement of $6 billion to $8 billion while attorneys for people hurt by Roundup® felt $10 billion would be a fair settlement offer.
Other publications, such as the Los Angeles Times, reported that Bayer CEO Werner Baumann would consider a “financially reasonable” settlement of Roundup® cancer injury cases. Further, Baumann said that Roundup® remains safe and that the claims have no merit, but that he would consider a financially reasonable settlement as long as the settlement resolved all outstanding Roundup® cases. To that end, Bayer allegedly remains committed to constructive talks with Ken Feinberg, the court-appointed mediator for Roundup® litigation.
In August 2019, Mr. Feinberg told Reuters that Bayer AG had not proposed any specific dollar amount to settle Roundup® cases in the United States and that specific amounts of compensation had not yet been discussed during mediation sessions.
Why Would Bayer Want to Settle Roundup® Cases?
The uncertainty of Roundup® cases creates financial risk for Bayer shareholders and investors. Bayer has an interest in settling outstanding Roundup® cases so that it has a definite financial figure to work into its budget and to ease the fears of stakeholders. However, it is important to Bayer that any potential settlement resolves all outstanding litigation so that there are no further financial surprises.
So far, there have been significant legal recoveries for people who suffered cancer because of Roundup® exposure. For example, three California juries returned large verdicts for plaintiffs hurt by Roundup®. Even when the courts went back and reduced the large damage awards made by juries, the plaintiffs recovered:
- $87 million. Alva and Alberta Pilliod used Roundup® on their property for about 30 years. Alva developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in his bones and spine, and Alberta developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in her brain. The jury returned a verdict of more than $2 billion which was later reduced to $87 million.
- $78.5 million. Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper, used Roundup® approximately 20 – 30 times a year for many years, and he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A jury awarded him $289 million for his injuries which was later reduced to $78.5 million.
- $25.2 million. Edwin Hardeman used Roundup® to treat weeds and poison oak on his California property for years. A jury found that Roundup® use was a substantial cause of Mr. Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and awarded him $80 million which was later reduced by the court to $25.2 million.
While some of the more than 18,000 cases may settle for less than these amounts, some may settle for more than these amounts and together the costs may be astronomical for Bayer stockholders.
Should You Settle Your Roundup® Cancer Case?
The decision about whether to settle your own Roundup® case is a personal one that you should discuss with your Roundup® injury lawyer. You need a lawyer whom you trust to provide you with the detailed and accurate information that you need about your case.
If you have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and you’ve used Roundup® at home or at work in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire, then we encourage you to contact the Roundup® injury lawyers at Keefe Disability Law for a free consultation. We would be happy to evaluate your claim, free of charge, and help you make the decisions that are right for you. Fill out our online contact form or call us directly to learn more.