Did Bayer Offer an $8 Billion Roundup™ Settlement?
On Friday, August 9, it was reported that Bayer offered to settle Roundup™ cases for $8 billion. This news was beneficial for Bayer’s corporate bottom line after a stock market rally on the same day sent the price of shares edging up by 11 percent. It was good news for the company since shares have fallen since the Bayer takeover of Monsanto 14 months ago. The supposed settlement involved roughly 18,000 claims against the company’s herbicide in the United States. Plaintiffs’ lawyers asked for a larger settlement at about $10 billion dollars. When queried about whether the company had anything to say about the settlement, Bayer remained ominously quiet. A Bayer representative, Tino Andresen, refused to comment. A mediator assigned by the courts to work out a settlement, Ken Feinberg, said that the report of a settlement was fiction.
Lawyers for the company and plaintiffs were trying to work out a settlement amicable to all when the news of the $8 billion settlement broke. The talks over settling the Roundup™ cases are moving forward. Bayer’s CEO has said that the company would be willing to settle if the amount was reasonable with the understanding that further litigation would be halted. Because of the settlement talks progression, both Bayer’s lawyers and attorneys representing the plaintiffs in St. Louis have asked that the current cases be delayed. This is a good sign that the talks are moving forward. For Bayer, finding a reasonable settlement is important since shareholders have expressed their dismay over the string of losses in previous cases. Some big investors such as Elliott Management Corp, which has a $1.3 billion stake, are urging the company to stop defending itself and to make a settlement work. Lawyers for the plaintiffs reportedly were asking for $10 billion.
St. Louis Case
The St. Louis case, which was scheduled to begin on August 19, involves a woman, Sharlean Gordon, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using it for 14 years. She is a resident of Illinois. This is the first court trial outside of California. St. Louis is well known for juries being favorable to plaintiffs and over the years has sided with them in cases with big corporations. One that comes to mind is the $4.69 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson where plaintiffs filed claims saying its baby powder contained asbestos.
Why Is Bayer Settling?
It is possible that Bayer does not want to be hit with another large verdict. The jury in the Pilliod case awarded $2 billion in punitive damages although an Oakland judge, Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith, reduced the punitive damages to $69 million. The couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, also saw compensatory damages reduced to $17 million from $55 million. Bayer still said they would appeal and said Smith was moving in the right direction. Although Smith thought the punitive judgment was excessive, she did not eliminate it altogether as Bayer wanted. The company had asked that it be stricken, citing studies they said were proof the herbicide was safe.
Bayer Hopes to Avoid Another Roundup™ Verdict
Bayer is hoping to avoid another harsh verdict against the damages caused by exposure to glyphosate herbicide. It is bringing on Missouri experts to help in the Roundup™ cancer lawsuit.
Roundup™ Cancer Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Roundup™ cancer lawyer. It is wrong when consumers are hurt by the greed and negligence of big corporations. If you are harmed, it is important to protect your rights. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach out to me online if that is easier for you.
I am a proud member of the following organizations:
- The National Association of Distinguished Counsel: This group of attorneys are those who are known to practice legal excellence.
- The Million Dollar Advocates Forum: All members have won more than $1 million for a client.
Learn more about my practice by visiting the following pages:
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/technique-glyphosate-spraying-1831943/
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