The maker of Roundup has agreed to a 10-billion-dollar settlement for cancer suits. Bayer, a German owned chemical and pharmaceutical company purchased Monsanto two years ago. Bayer knew they were buying a company with what was viewed as the best weed killer. One thing they were not prepared for were the thousands of legal claims that Roundup caused cancer.
Now, moving forward Bayer is willing to pay 10-billion-dollars in settlement to put it behind them and continue forward with selling Roundup but not putting a warning label on the bottle about the safety of the product. This deal, which was announced last week, is one of the largest in a U.S. Civil Litigation lawsuit. It was a very complex negotiation which involved over 25 law firms whose clients will receive a part of the settlement.
Just weeks after Bayer agreed to purchase Monsanto in 2018, a California state court awarded Dewayne Johnson $289 million. It was noted that Johnson, who was a school’s groundskeeper, was diagnosed with terminal cancer due to glyphosate in Roundup. The jurors recognized that Monsanto had failed to warn their consumers of the risk associated with using the product. In March 2019, a federal court in San Francisco awarded a similar outcome for a homeowner, who used Roundup on his property. He was awarded an $80 million verdict. Months later a third jury delivered an award of over $2 billion to a couple that said decades of using Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. All three of these monetary awards were later reduced by judges, and Bayer has appealed them.
Many plaintiffs say that Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate has caused them to develop cancer. Years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified glyphosate as a probable chemical to cause cancer. Strangely, government officials in multiple other countries determined glyphosate is safe to use. With that being said, over 100,000 plaintiffs came forward stating that the chemical harmed them, and more specifically causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Bayer has agreed in the settlement to pay $8.8 – $9.5 billion to resolve current Roundup lawsuits, and another $1.25 billion will be used for future claims. The settlement is not completely black and white, as some of the money is settling ongoing issues with farmers. Farmers state that when the chemical is sprayed in neighboring yards/crops, it drifts and can cause damage to products they are growing. Another claim that some of this settlement money will go towards is that the company polluted public waters with highly toxic chemicals.
With all of this being said companies have a due diligence to check the ingredients going into their products and ensuring that they are safe for consumers to use/be around. Going forward hopefully Bayer can help push scientific research to look into the chemical glyphosate and exactly the damage it can cause an individual from long-term use. Although this is a step in the right direction for individuals who have been harmed by the product Roundup, it also opens doors for companies to really evaluate what goes into their products and if they are safe to use/be around for an extended period of time.